The hot new thing in transportation sounds like something out of science fiction: autonomous vehicles, also known colloquially as self-driving cars.
From Washington D.C. to Salem to Portland City Hall, politicians across the US are charging full steam ahead on this profit-driven fad, part of Silicon Valley’s drive to automate as many good union jobs out of existence as possible. Teamsters and transit workers understand instinctively that self-driving buses, trains, and trucks are an existential threat to our livelihoods. Companies already treat their workers like disposable cogs in a machine – it’s only a matter of putting a robot in the driver’s seat to seal the deal.
We’re still working to learn more about autonomous vehicles (or “AVs,” for short), and how they’ll impact our members. Until then, we want to provide our members with as much information about what’s happening in the world of AVs as possible. Below is everything ATU 757 knows about AVs – if you have questions, comments, or just want to stay up-to-date on how the union approaches this issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Please note that all documents below are in PDF format; if you need help opening them, please call the union hall.
What is an autonomous vehicle?
Below is the City of Portland’s definition of AVs. Most so-called self-driving cars in 2017 are “Level 3” vehicles, and the industry is working feverishly to perfect that level of automation, as well as Levels 4 and 5 vehicles.
Information about the City of Portland’s AV initiative
Draft Executive Order from Governor Kate Brown creating a state AV initiative
Legal opinion from Oregon’s Legislative Counsel arguing that Oregon law allows Level 3 passenger AND commercial AVs on Oregon roads.
Oregon’s trucking industry – how many freight transportation jobs might be impacted by moving to AVs?