‘End the unsafe operation’ of autonomous vehicles, union leaders tell US DOT

On Nov. 8, 26 labor organizations asked the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a six-page letter to “take immediate action” to “end the unsafe operation of [automated driving system]-equipped vehicles on our roads.”

Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, told Smart Cities Dive that there is a need for federal leadership “as opposed to a patchwork of state and local laws” governing autonomous vehicles. Labor leaders also asked the DOT to update the department’s automated vehicle policy and to “reject the Trump Administration’s hands-off approach to regulating automated vehicles…”

However, the union leader understands that the future will include autonomous vehicles, trucks and buses. “We recognize that people want to be thoughtful and deliberate and fact-based as they look at regulations,” Regan said. “But we are trying to up the urgency here, given the very real safety concerns we’re seeing and the limited timeframe we may have left here to actually make an impact.”

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