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Ohio Bus Drivers Call Driver-less Vehicles Unsafe

October 1, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

COLUMBUS, Ohio—As the city of Columbus announced plans to begin operating self-driving shuttle vehicles in a park along the Scioto River, the city bus drivers’ union announced a statewide “People Before Robots” campaign against them, calling them dangerous and a threat to jobs. “It makes no sense at any level,” Transport Workers Union President John Samuelsen said Sept. 18, speaking outside the state AFL-CIO convention. “These jobs are ours.” TWU Local 208 represents 870 Central Ohio Transit Authority workers, including 700 drivers. An authority spokesperson told the Columbus Dispatch that it “has no pilot program for a driverless bus whatsoever.” But the city’s Smart Columbus transportation-technology initiative announced Sept. 19 that it would begin testing “low-speed shuttles” along the “Scioto Mile” route, and begin bringing passengers to destinations such as the city’s science museum in December. A Smart Columbus spokesperson said it will also test the vehicles in other parts of the city. Read more

October 1, 2018

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