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California Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Human Drivers in Self Driving Trucks

Picture Source: AP

California Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill that aimed to mandate human drivers on board self driving trucks. The legislation would have prohibited self-driving trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds from operating on public roads without a human driver present. The move has sparked controversy, with union leaders and truck drivers arguing that such a requirement would help protect jobs in the state.

The Vetoed Legislation:

The vetoed bill aimed to address concerns about the potential impact of self-driving trucks on jobs and safety. Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, head of the California Labor Federation, argued that self-driving trucks pose safety risks and estimated that eliminating human drivers could cost a quarter of a million jobs in California.

Governor Newsom’s Decision:

Governor Newsom, a Democrat, decided not to sign the bill, asserting that additional regulation of autonomous trucks was unnecessary. He pointed to existing laws, including legislation from 2012, which allows the California Department of Motor Vehicles to collaborate with relevant agencies to determine the necessary regulations for the safe operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads.

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Debate Over Self-Driving Vehicles:

The vetoed bill is part of a broader debate about the impact of self-driving technology on jobs and safety. Proponents argue that self-driving vehicles, including trucks, can improve efficiency and safety, while opponents raise concerns about job displacement and potential safety risks.

Political and Economic Factors:

Newsom’s decision not to sign the bill was influenced by pressure within his administration, as well as the potential economic implications. His administration’s Office of Business and Economic Development warned that such regulation could push companies developing self-driving technologies to relocate out of the state.

Conclusion:

The veto of the bill requiring human drivers in self-driving trucks highlights the ongoing debates surrounding autonomous vehicles, safety, and workforce adaptation. The decision also reflects the complex intersection of technology, economics, and labor concerns in the evolving landscape of transportation.

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