Why We Can't Ignore Self-Driving Commercial Trucks Any Longer

Jalopnik – Lawmakers in the U.S. Congress are working on legislation to regulate the testing and deployment of autonomous cars and trucks across the country. Last week that bill passed a crucial benchmark, receiving unanimous approval in a U.S. house committee. But the measure leaves out large commercial trucks, and that’s probably a foolish thing to do.

To be clear, the legislation still has a long way to go—the full House has yet to take up the bill, and competing measures are sure to come from the Senate, as well.

The bill passed last week by the house committee allows autonomous vehicle testers to significantly ramp up testing of cars that don’t comply with safety regulations, from 2,500 to 100,000. It would grant the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sweeping powers to create new safety standards for self-driving cars and would prohibit state legislatures from passing their own laws that oversee the design and operation of autonomous cars.

What’s key, though, is that the House included a 10,000 pound weight limit in the legislation, effectively boxing out automated semi-trucks, Bloomberg reports, and making it so they can’t be deployed under the law similarly to passenger cars.

The reason? Union officials are clearly out front, trying to bat away the inclusion of trucks in the bills, saying autonomous technology puts innumerable jobs at risk.

Read more at Jalopnik.

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