It's struck me, too, how the trash collection vehicles that come by my house are mostly piloted robots already; the humans are there to deal with problems and control the joysticks, but hydraulic arms lift and empty the garbage containers themselves.
Where I am, the human drives the truck, gets it lined up with the can, etc. If some asshat homeowner puts the bin out too far from the curb, or turned "wrong" (sideways or backwards or not mostly square to the road), said worker has to hop out and get the bin in position for the arms to grab, slaps teh big red button on the side of the truck, and the hydraulics/mechanics/robotics take over from there.
The human is still needed for the fuzzy logic stuff - driving, checking distance of the bin to the road, orientation of the bin, etc - but with a halfway considerate homeowner they don't need to get out of the truck that often. Big change from the "hop out, toss 2 full cans up and dump 'em in, compact it, head to next set of cans" model that was around a few years back...