Automation in transport industry will be gradual, says WMU report

17 January 2019 (Last Updated January 17th, 2019 13:00)

Automation's role in the global transport industry will be 'evolutionary' rather than 'revolutionary', a report by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and World Maritime University (WMU) has predicted.

Automation’s role in the global transport industry will be ‘evolutionary’ rather than ‘revolutionary’, a report by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and World Maritime University (WMU) has predicted.

The new ‘Transport 2040: Automation Technology Employment – the Future of Work’ report was prepared by WMU and highlights the kind of changes automation and advanced technologies will bring to the transport industry.

The report says that, though high levels of automation will take place in the future, qualified people with the right skill sets will still be required.

Inevitable technological advances will happen gradually and will be different from region to region, it added.

Introduction of new technologies and automation will both displace as well as create jobs in the transport industry. This may also lead to difficult transitions for many employees working in the sector.

“The research undertaken has enabled us to design and develop a repository on the status of technology globally in all modes of transport.”

In order to evaluate the technical preparation of the maritime transport sector, the report studied 17 countries.

The report states that people involved in the transport industry should be properly qualified and re-trained to successfully master new technologies and higher levels of automation.

WMU president Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry said: “There are four takeaways from the launch of this major report today. First, the academic freedom that the University had to undertake this independent report and which was respected by the ITF.

“Second, the research undertaken has enabled us to design and develop a repository on the status of technology globally in all modes of transport.

“Third, it enabled us to provide a more accurate assessment of technology, the modes of transport and their status in the short, medium and long term.

“Finally, the report represents research on transport modes that is 60% focused on road, rail and aviation, and 40% on maritime.”