New technologies in mobility are poised to make entire industries greener, safer and more convenient for citizens around the world. For those of us who believe the hype, a much-discussed, bright future lies ahead if mobility players get things right.
Less discussed is the upside for the best talent driving around our city streets and highways today.
The safety drivers of the future
New mobility companies are creating new job opportunities. Yes, the ride-sharing boom lets ordinary car owners make extra income. And yes, the dawn of autonomous vehicles (AV) has triggered a Cambrian explosion of companies and products, and by extension, jobs.
The vast majority of those open positions are for workers versed in machine learning, software development, and engineering. Software has been eating the car and it shows no sign of stopping.
But new, different categories of transportation jobs are on the horizon.
In the same way that great amateur entertainers can launch their careers on YouTube, great teachers can educate and earn more on Udemy and inspirational speakers can reach wider audiences on TED Talks, couldn’t great drivers capture the upside of new technologies?
YouTube rewards entertainment value with a premium. Udemy does the same for expertise, and TED does it for insight and inspiration.
But the same hasn’t happened to road safety… yet.
What if new mobility platforms placed a real premium on super safe, capable driving? What if new technologies and products allowed skilled, safe drivers to broaden the reach and impact of what they do best?
In a select few companies, some jobs that do that are emerging, but are limited to a handful of positions. As autonomous test fleets turn into autonomous commercial fleets, however, new job descriptions are bound to attract and reward safe drivers.
One of those job descriptions may soon be ‘autonomous vehicle teleoperator’.
Picture this — a long-haul truck driver, accustomed to multiple days on the road, trading time with friends and family for long hours driving and nights spent in distant road lodging, suddenly trades jobs.
The new job entails a short commute, working locally, and spending every single night with her loved ones. On top of that, the truck driver gets to support the safe operation of several trucks a day, which collectively travel hundreds of miles in a single shift.
The skills that make her a great driver — focus, skilled handling, and sharp decision-making thanks to years of experience — not only land her that job, but also more attractive compensation and perks than she has known before.
The same, for those of us who are optimistic about innovations in mobility, could happen with great bus drivers, and great ride-sharing drivers.
No simple task
In past posts, the team has covered the service that this job provides: remote assistance and guidance of autonomous vehicles.
And the team has also covered the pitfalls of getting it wrong — and why the best technology, the most experience, and the strictest safety standards are essential ingredients for conjuring this future.
At Ottopia, we’re working hard on building the safest teleoperation platform on the market. Our platform is designed to reduce, rather than introduce, human error when AVs need help.
But as we build an end-to-end teleoperation solution, we realize that our value proposition is strengthened when we welcome and up-skill today’s safest drivers.
Our team has the expertise to solve one part of the road safety puzzle. We want others to join us in delivering safer roads, not in the distant future, but much sooner than you think.
The road ahead
Companies in the broader AV ecosystem, and teleoperation companies like Ottopia, will be a part of the solution. But so will many other players. The organizations in charge of the regulation, education and up-skilling required for safer roads will play a huge role.
At Ottopia, we are working hard on building the technology that can help unlock the potential of autonomous vehicles, without compromising on safety. We are excited for the road ahead, shaping the future of mobility by partnering with other key players.
And if you’re a great driver, we’re not sure we can make you a celebrity like YouTube does. But we hope you’ll jump on the safety bandwagon soon, behind the (remote) wheel.