The Teamsters Union is calling for any federal legislation regarding “self-driving” technology to take into account public safety and the millions of working Americans employed in transportation and related industries. At a public hearing on Capitol Hill in June, House lawmakers discussed 14 pieces of draft legislation on self-driving vehicles. The bills could be combined into a final package for introduction in the 115th Congress.
The Teamsters Union has been closely monitoring all aspects of the technology, urging lawmakers to prioritize safety and transparency in rules concerning the testing phase of self-driving vehicles. The union is calling for comprehensive federal rules regulating autonomous vehicles, including strong minimum safety standards. Under any such legislation, states and cities should retain their authority to regulate the safe operations of vehicles.
“If anyone needs to be at the table for a discussion on self-driving technology, it’s the package car driver, the freight driver and the taxi driver,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “We are encouraged that legislators are soliciting feedback on early proposed legislation, and we firmly believe it’s important that their constituents—and that includes Teamsters—are involved in the process and listened to throughout.”
There are currently no concrete federal laws governing automated driving technology or the testing of such technology. A number of states have enacted varying rules and guidances concerning semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicle testing.