Labor to DOT: Scrap Trump administration’s automated vehicles plan

Two prominent labor unions want the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to reject the Trump administration’s automated vehicle (AV) strategy for relying too much on the viewpoint from industry without enough attention paid to potential damage to worker safety and jobs.

The 38-page Automated Vehicles Comprehensive Plan (AVCP), one of the last documents released for public comment by DOT under Secretary Elaine Chao before she left the administration in January, laid out the previous administration’s vision for integrating AVs – both cars and heavy trucks – into the U.S. transportation system.

The plan received 23 comments before the comment period closed on Tuesday, with trucking technology companies generally supporting the strategy and labor rejecting it.

“This document doubles down on the previous administration’s irresponsible, hands-off approach to AV deployment and regulation and mostly boosts the agency’s role as cheerleader and enabler rather than safety regulator,” wrote John Samuelsen, international president of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), which represents transit workers.