Mobility and Transport

Social issues

Automation in transport

Automation in transport

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Automation in transport is taking place in the context of a broader transformation of the industry and the world of work. Ongoing discussions about the future of work, the impact of the digital transformation on labour markets, and challenges and opportunities of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ attest the need of analysing and anticipating the upcoming changes.

The social dimension of the transition to automation was addressed at the Digital Transport Days (Tallinn, November 2017), where panellists discussed the impact of digitalisation on the transport workforce and users. Following up, the Council, in its conclusions on the digitalisation of transport of 5 December 2017, emphasised the importance of wide societal dialogue on these issues and called on the Commission to ‘assess the socio-economic and environmental impact of automation and digitalisation in the field of transport taking into account the new skills needed in that sector, and, if necessary, to propose measures to address those impacts.’

As a first step, the European Commission organised a participatory conference "Automation in transport: how does it affect the labour force?" on the impact of automation in transport on the labour force on 20 November 2018 in Brussels. The conference focused on the most important trends in automated transport and how they affect the labour force in transport.

The impact on the labour force in transport was also discussed during the Digital Transport Days (Helsinki, October 2019) in a dedicated session on 'Managing the transition towards digitalisation and automation – social aspects'.