Machines replacing workers is an ongoing issue that is still being ignored by many – and this includes President Trump. He doesn’t even realize that the Caterpillar engineers are already preparing for a machine-driven future – starting by creating self-driving mammoth haul trucks.
The Future of Mining
The 850,000 pound trucks won’t need drivers, and they won’t even require remote operators. Rather, these vehicles depend on self-driving technology, which is the most advanced in a growing line of autonomous drills and trucks that are slowly getting rid of the human aspect of digging for coal.
The Oblivious Decision
As soon as President Trump decided to undo the climate change efforts of the Obama administration, he vowed to bring back the coal mining jobs in the country. However, strong miners who carried shovels and pickaxes through mazelike tunnels have slowly turned into relics of the past.
What’s worse is that coal is already experiencing a hasty decline because of the abundance and affordability of natural gas. Coal exports are dropping and electricity sales are going downhill. Throughout all of this, the coal sector has been replacing human employees with explosives and machines. Labor and energy specialists agree that nothing, or no one can bring it back.
According to Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, people should learn to accept that the coal industry can easily transition into using high technology with more coders and engineers, and less miners. He says that even if they do bring back the demand for coal, they wouldn’t be able to restore the same amount of employees.