Henry Ford revolutionized the way automobiles have been constructed when he introduced the production line procedure, but that procedure nevertheless relied totally on humans. These days individuals and machines share the workload across the market, and have accomplished for decades, but automakers could now be on the verge of shifting the balance and easing human operators out of the door.

Advancing technologies will make it feasible to replace much more human workers with much more machines in the coming years, but it is not only the reality that the tech will be obtainable to automakers that may lead them down that route.

Another driving force is the need to have to recover the price of the current UAW battle with the existing workforce, who may be feeling really pleased with their newly-boosted spend and circumstances nowadays with no realizing that they’ve potentially hastened their personal demise.

The Wall Street Journal reports that increasing labor fees are set to speed up the adoption of automated technologies in automobile plants, explaining that the unexpectedly higher price of renegotiating contracts will add $900 to the price of constructing a new Ford in the course of the lifespan of these new contracts, which are due to expire in 4 years time, and about $500 to the price of making a new Chevy.

The worldwide automotive market installed 136,000 new industrial robotic units in 2022, according to information from the International Federation of Robotics, and if that sounds like a lot, it is. Only the electronics market installed much more, the WSJ says. That’s undesirable news for UAW members, although the report suggests human operators at auto plants will not necessarily be laid off, just not replaced when they retire or leave.

Related: Tesla Gives Workers A Raise As It Tries To Stave Off UAW Push

One other aspect that may push the market to higher automation is that we’re in the middle of a plant-constructing boom as automakers appear to develop new battery and EV factories. It’s easier to set up robots in a new facility than add them to an current 1 exactly where there’s a hefty changeover price to deal with.

However, even though robots do not need to have holidays, pension spend or bathroom brakes, they are not with no their downsides. They’re pricey to get, nevertheless need to have individuals to system and preserve them, and may result in good quality issues at 1st.