An excellent blog post from Kerry Underwood highlights the future problems faced by RTA lawyers as a result of the development of driverless cars. It is clearly correct that this will lead to a massive drop in the number of RTA accidents with a major knock-on impact on claims work in this area. As Kerry observes, this may make all the fuss about increasing the personal injury small claims limit and scrapping or restricting general damages claims in minor soft tissue injury cases entirely redundant.
Obviously, this will also be another nail in the coffin for those Costs Lawyers and law costs draftsmen who undertake the small amount of remaining work in this area. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. It will also have a dramatic impact on insurer claims handlers, car mechanics, car hire firms and medical agencies and experts, not to mention a welcome reduction in work for real doctors and nurses as a result of less RTAs.
Even this is likely to be overshadowed by the impact driverless cars will have on the 10,000s working as taxi and minicab drivers, couriers and delivery drivers (with a disproportionate impact on many of the more recent arrivals to this country).
And then we have the claims that robots will begin to take over the work of millions of workers in the next few years.
This may not be an entire disaster. Human history is a continuous story of new technology fundamentally changing the nature of employment. You may well have met someone called Fletcher but it is unlikely you have ever met anyone who makes arrows for a living.
Nevertheless, change invariably produces losers in the short term, whatever long-term benefits it may bring.