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The future of work in the new mobility era
How the new transportation ecosystem could reshape jobs and employment
The future of mobility transforms the way people and goods move about and could trigger dramatic shifts in the workforce and how companies can prepare and adapt to changing demands. We see three trends emerging from the future of mobility that could impact work: automation and augmentation, from physical to digital, goods to services and better mobility driving demand for more mobility.
Making the Future of Mobility work
History shows that new technologies often lead to increases in workforce participation. Famously, since the introduction of ATMs, the number of bank tellers and bank employees has actually increased, but the nature of the work has changed. The real challenge for workers lies not in being replaced by a machine but, rather, in how to reskill to work side-by-side with the new tools and capabilities that advanced technologies bring.
Automation and augmentation
Automations like the assembly line enabled original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring automobiles to the masses.Cognitive technologies to monitor objects via the Internet of Things, could increase the use of machines even further and in the future autonomous vehicles take over jobs of professional drivers. Even though markets are not ready yet and adoption is dependent on regulation and consumer attitudes, the effects could be profound. Deloitte estimates that by 2040, over 60 percent of passenger miles could be in autonomous vehicles. The effects of artificial intelligence on other mobility occupations will also be profound with vehicle assembly using industrial robots that can “see” using sensors. Everything from driving behavior, insurance and parking enforcement can be executed using sensors, data analytics and cognitive technologies. Therefore, a number of mobility-related occupations could be at risk from automation or robotization (see chart).
Automation Future of Mobility
From physical to digital, goods to services
Even as new technologies automate and augment work, an equally fundamental shift could take place in where the value is. Will future urban families still own a car themselves? Is there potentially more money to be made digital capabilities that enable safe, clean, efficient and customized travel on demand. Value will shift from traditional manufacturing and physical ownership to data, networks, software and services in transportation.
Better mobility could drive demand for more mobility
Technology complements, not replaces labor. It can increase productivity and job growth. The cost per mile could drop by two-thirds using shared autonomous vehicles. Mobility becomes cheaper, faster and more convenient, driving demand. Deloitte estimates that total US miles traveled could increase by 25 percent by 2040. Trucking volumes have increased steadily since 2000, driven in part by e-commerce. All of this could create job demand, offsetting or even negate attrition that automation or shifting sources of value cause. New jobs may come from a greater need for existing work, as well as from entirely new jobs.
Auto OEMs and suppliers
Consecutive years of record sales allow carmakers to invest in new business models and technologies, triggering workforce changes. New autoworkers with different skills and needs emerge alongside new organizational constructs. Catering to these new roles affects how companies engage and retain workforces. The challenge is to create a forward-thinking talent model that meets the need to attract, retain and develop a new digital workforce, while balancing cultural and operational shifts with the broader needs of the organization. Carmakers could grow skills quickly through acquisitions, but to retain talent they must cater for tech-focused, digitally savvy workers that expect an “end-to-end experience”.
Integrating skills and capabilities into a legacy model is simply not done by adapting to the new worker but by creating a culture of “always on” learning. Even as talent pools shift, carmakers continue to rely on manufacturing-line veterans and sales forces. Even there, the skills will shift as the types of vehicles built (simple autonomous “pods”) and sales volumes change. New workers often have a different definition and perspective of “career” resulting in the need to build on the rich history and create an exciting, technology-enabled and customer-focused future. HR has a big role in driving workforce-planning and forecasting skills requirements on analytics, robotics and artificial intelligence. HR needs to apply long-term thinking about how technology shifts the way we work; when new skills are needed; and where skills sit in organizations.
Managers and HR leaders can start by:
• Unleashing networks of teams. Leverage start-up thinking, break down functional silos, build organizational ecosystems with autonomous, less hierarchical, cross functional teams (Guilds).
• Rethinking hierarchy. Revisit the meaning of “career” and what it takes to develop one by exploring multi-role, flexible career paths rooted in ongoing learning.
• Developing digital leaders. Risk-taking drives high-performing leadership cultures. Leaders need to learn new tools and management approaches using digital mediums and virtual platforms.
• Pulsing your people. Use internal crowdsourcing and hackathons to collect ideas for performance management and rewards to build a compelling employee experience.
• Creating a culture of real-time measurement. Use applications that provide real-time metrics on engagement, recruiting and turnover to base informed talent decisions on.
• Recognizing learning is everyone’s job. Learning is an imperative, through formal and informal knowledge sharing, creating a High Impact Learning Organization (HILO).
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