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The Future of Shipping is Green and Autonomous

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Space travel may be exciting, and self-driving cars certainly get a lot of hype.

However, there remains a good argument that the world’s oceans – and the ships that roam them – often get overlooked when it comes to advances in transportation technology.

How will shipping change in the coming years, and what trends can we look to for guidance on the future of shipping?

The Future of Shipping

Today’s infographic comes to us from Futurism, and it gives examples of ships already in production – or in the concept phase – that aim to make activity on the world’s oceans greener and more autonomous.

The Future of Shipping is Green and Autonomous

How does the future of shipping shape up?

There are two main trends that emerge from these upcoming ships: an increased use of alternative energy and higher levels of automation.

Greener Ships

Fuel accounts for about half of the operating costs of the shipping industry – so the type of fuel used to move ships between ports is paramount. Since the 1960s, heavy fuel oil (HFO) has been the dominant choice for the industry. It’s cheap and plentiful, but it’s also extremely dirty.

Shipping today only produces 3% of carbon dioxide emissions – but it’s areas like sulphur (15% of global total) and particulate emissions (11% of total) that are considered a bigger problem.

As a result, the industry is not only moving to use cleaner oil-based fuels – but some companies are aiming to use alternative energy as well. In the ships above, you’ll see the addition of LNG and fuel cells, as well as the use of solar and wind to help power the future of shipping.

More Autonomous Ships

Ships won’t only be powered differently – they will be navigated and steered using artificial intelligence along with the aid of commercial drones.

Rolls-Royce is building an autonomous smart ship right now with Google that will monitor its surroundings in intense detail, while making autonomous decisions on the deep seas.

Autonomous shipping is the future of the maritime industry. As disruptive as the smartphone, the smart ship will revolutionize the landscape of ship design and operations”

– Mikael Mäkinen, President, Rolls-Royce Marine

Implementing this technology on the high seas has a longer development cycle than that for autonomous vehicles, but that doesn’t mean the idea is dead in the water.

It just means we’ll have to wait a little longer to see the future of shipping in action – and for now, the prospect of viewing all of the world’s ships in real-time will just have to suffice.

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Automation

The Outlook for Automation and Manufacturing Jobs in Seven Charts

How will technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence end up impacting jobs and the workforce? Here are seven charts that tell the story.

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The Outlook for Automation and Manufacturing in Seven Charts

View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.

Over the last decade, the prospect of mass automation has seemingly shifted from a vague possibility to an inescapable reality.

While it’s still incredibly difficult to estimate the ultimate impact of automation and AI on the economy, the picture is starting to become a bit clearer as projections begin to converge.

Today’s infographic comes to us from Raconteur, and it highlights seven different charts that show us how automation is shaping the world – and in particular, the future outlook for manufacturing jobs.

The Age of Automation

The precise details are up to debate, but here are a few key areas that many experts agree on with respect to the coming age of automation:

Half of manufacturing hours worked today are spent on manual jobs.

  • In an analysis of North American and European manufacturing jobs, it was found that roughly 48% of hours primarily relied on the use of manual or physical labor.
  • By the year 2030, it’s estimated that only 35% of time will be spent on such routine work.

Automation’s impact will be felt by the mid-2020s.

  • According to a recent report from PwC, the impact on OECD jobs will start to be felt in the mid-2020s.
  • By 2025, for example, it’s projected that 10-15% of jobs in three sectors (manufacturing, transportation and storage, and wholesales and retail trade) will have high potential for automation.
  • By 2035, the range of jobs with high automation potential will be closer to 35-50% for those sectors.

Industrial robot prices are decreasing.

  • Industrial robot sales are sky high, mainly the result of falling industry costs.
  • This trend is expected to continue, with the cost of robots falling by 65% between 2015 and 2025.
  • With the cost of labor generally rising, this makes it more difficult to keep low-skilled jobs.

Technology simultaneously creates jobs, but how many?

  • One bright spot is that automation and AI will also create jobs, likely in functions that are difficult for us to conceive of today.
  • Historically, technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed.
  • AI alone is expected to have an economic impact of $15.7 trillion by 2030.

Unfortunately, although experts agree that jobs will be created by these technologies, they disagree considerably on how many. This important discrepancy is likely the biggest x-factor in determining the ultimate impact that these technologies will have in the coming years, especially on the workforce.

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Automation

Will a Robot Take Your Job?

Is your job going the way of the robots? The Future of Jobs Report estimates the changes robotics will bring to the workplace over the next few years.

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Forecasting a Robot Driven Workplace

Forecasting a Robot-Driven Workplace

Will a Robot Take Your Job?

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

Are you ready to hand your job over to R2D2?

A recent study by the Mckinsey Global Institute forecasts up to 800 million workers worldwide could lose their jobs to automation by 2030.

Industrial machine operators, administrators, and service workers will be the first to take a hit. Meanwhile, poorer countries with lower investment in tech are less likely to feel the pinch.

Jobs Out, Jobs In

Today’s chart uses data from the Future of Jobs Report 2018 by the World Economic Forum to take a peek at the changes technology will bring over the next four years.

It shows while humans are handing over a larger share of labor hours to their robot counterparts, the future isn’t all bleak. Although 75 million jobs could be displaced by the coming shift in labor, there will be 133 million new jobs created as well. While certain jobs are becoming redundant, human skills remain in demand in other areas.

Here is the full list of jobs on the chopping block in 2022, as well as the careers that will rise in importance:

Stable RolesNew RolesRedundant Roles
Managing Directors and Chief ExecutivesData Analysts and Scientists*Data Entry Clerks
General and Operations Managers*AI and Machine Learning SpecialistsAccounting, Bookkeeping and Payroll Clerks
Software and Applications Developers and Analysts*General and Operations Managers*Administrative and Executive Secretaries
Data Analysts and Scientists*Big Data SpecialistsAssembly and Factory Workers
Sales and Marketing Professionals*Digital Transformation SpecialistsClient Information and Customer Service Workers*
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific ProductsSales and Marketing Professionals*Business Services and Administration Managers
Human Resources SpecialistsNew Technology SpecialistsAccountants and Auditors
Financial and Investment AdvisersOrganizational Development Specialists*Material-Recording and Stock-Keeping Clerks
Database and Network ProfessionalsSoftware and Applications Developers and Analysts*General and Operations Managers*
Supply Chain and Logistics SpecialistsInformation Technology ServicesPostal Service Clerks
Risk Management SpecialistsProcess Automation SpecialistsFinancial Analysts
Information Security Analysts*Innovation ProfessionalsCashiers and Ticket Clerks
Management and Organization AnalystsInformation Security Analysts*Mechanics and Machinery Repairers
Electrotechnology EngineersEcommerce and Social Media SpecialistsTelemarketers
Organizational Development Specialists*User Experience and Human-MachineElectronics and Telecommunications Installers and Repairers
Chemical Processing Plant OperatorsInteraction DesignersBank Tellers and Related Clerks
University and Higher Education TeachersTraining and Development SpecialistsCar, Van and Motorcycle Drivers
Compliance OfficersRobotics Specialists and EngineersSales and Purchasing Agents and Brokers
Energy and Petroleum EngineersPeople and Culture SpecialistsDoor-To-Door Sales Workers, News and Street Vendors, and Related Workers
Robotics Specialists and EngineersClient Information and Customer Service Workers*Statistical, Finance and Insurance Clerks
Petroleum and Natural Gas Refining Plant OperatorsService and Solutions DesignersLawyers
Digital Marketing and Strategy Specialists

Source: Future of Jobs Survey 2018, World Economic Forum. Roles marked with * appear across multiple columns. This reflects the fact that they might be seeing stable or declining demand across one industry, but be in demand in another.

New Jobs For A New World

While this coming wave of automation is bound impact the workplace, for now you might want to leave that torch and pitchfork at home – the robots aren’t out to steal your job just yet.

Oxford University researchers predict 47% of American jobs are likely to face automation over the next 20 years. However, the same study reveals 53% of jobs are unlikely to be affected at all. Robots are less likely to take over roles dependent on human interaction – like doctors and teachers. Workers in specialized roles, such as plumbing and care work, can breathe easy too.

Jobs in manufacturing, transport, and administration may decrease. But a potential rise in health, science, tech, and hospitality jobs is likely to offset this trend.

So the real question is, will robots replace your job, or make room for you to pursue a new career?

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