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How Artificial Intelligence will impact transport

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ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim addressed the OECD Forum on Artificial Intelligence (AI) on 27 October, speaking about the impact of digitalisation, automation and AI on transport and mobility.  Dr. Kim highlighted how the move to multi- and inter-modal mobility and from a supply-driven to a demand-driven sector goes along with a less clear-cut identity of what the “transport sector” is.

If transport can successfully manage the transition to a multidimensional identity, benefits can be reaped in terms of efficiency, sustainability, inclusiveness and safety. The transition will require addressing the gap between technological developments and the evolution of institutions as well as ethical questions associated with AI. Here International organisations like the ITF can play a crucial role in sharing best practices and leading the core discussions.

With regard to the impact of automation and AI on transport-related jobs, Dr Kim counselled against pessimism. While some professions – such as driver, ticket seller or ticket controller – face automation, new job profiles will also emerge – for instance trip planner, transport coordinator or mobility systems developer. Dr Kim highlighted recent recommendations to manage the transition period, developed with the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the Association of European Car Manufacturers (ACEA) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation, in the report “Managing the Transition to Driverless Road Freight Transport”. This report proposes the introduction of a temporary permit system for driverless trucks to enable governments to steer the speed of implementation for driverless technology and generate revenues to fund retraining of drivers.

Video recording of AI Forum session "Public policy considerations raised by AI: employment and skills" (Intervention by ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim at 01:03:15)

Read the report "Managing the Transition to Driverless Road Freight Transport"