Governor Newsom Vetoes Bill Restricting Driverless Trucks in California
In a recent decision that has sparked controversy, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed Assembly Bill 316, which aimed to prevent the operation of heavy-duty driverless trucks in the state. The bill, requiring a trained human driver to be present in autonomous vehicles weighing over 10,001 pounds, was met with resistance from Newsom, who argued that the current regulatory framework for autonomous technology is sufficient.
Newsom’s veto on Assembly Bill 316 has received mixed reactions from both proponents and opponents of autonomous hauling. Those in favor of the technology argue that the bill would hinder the development of driverless trucking operations and lead to potential job losses. They fear that future investments in this promising sector would flow to other more accommodating states.
On the other hand, labor unions, spearheaded by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, have strongly advocated for the bill’s signing, citing safety concerns and the need to protect jobs. They argue that having a human driver present in autonomous vehicles would ensure an added level of safety, and prevent potential accidents caused by technical failures.
Currently, California restricts the operation of autonomous trucks weighing more than 10,001 pounds. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles is actively working on developing a regulatory framework that would lift this restriction. This move aligns with Governor Newsom’s promise of transparent regulations prioritizing safety when it comes to autonomous vehicles.
While Newsom’s veto may seem like the final word, there is still a possibility for the bill to be passed if the legislature votes in favor with a two-thirds majority. However, the chances of this happening are slim, given the governor’s strong stance against the bill.
Despite the veto, companies such as Aurora, Daimler Truck, Kodiak Robotics, and Gatik continue to test and deploy their driverless trucking operations in the state. They remain hopeful about the future of autonomous hauling in California and are eagerly awaiting the lifting of current restrictions.
Governor Newsom also directed the labor and workforce development agency to develop recommendations aimed at mitigating the potential impact on jobs from the deployment of autonomous vehicles. This highlights his commitment to balancing the development of autonomous technology with the protection of employment opportunities.
As California continues to pave the way for the advancement of autonomous vehicles, it remains to be seen how future regulatory frameworks will be implemented to ensure safety, job security, and the thriving growth of this innovative industry.
“Social media scholar. Reader. Zombieaholic. Hardcore music maven. Web fanatic. Coffee practitioner. Explorer.”