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Teamsters Urge More Safeguards on Self-Driving Vehicles

March 31, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—The Teamsters Union urged stronger restrictions on self-driving vehicles after an automated SUV being tested by Uber killed a woman in Arizona Mar. 18. “Steps must be taken to avoid these situations in the future,” the union said in a statement Mar. 19. “Driverless technology is still in a testing phase and there are enormous risks inherent to testing unproven technologies on public roads.” The 49-year-old victim was killed while trying to cross a road in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe about 10 p.m. Uber said it was suspending its tests of self-driving vehicles in four North American cities. The Teamsters and other transportation unions have been skeptical of the technology out of both safety and job-preservation concerns. Last year, when the House passed a bill to allow the gradual introduction of driverless cars nationwide, they persuaded legislators to limit their weight to exclude commercial-size trucks. Democrats seeking stronger safety provisions have kept that measure bottled up in the Senate. “More than 600,000 skilled Teamsters operate trucks and other vehicles and are among the safest drivers on the road,” the union said. Read more

March 31, 2018

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