New Survey Finds Pennsylvanians Fear Autonomous Vehicles
The Teamsters are leading the fight for safety and good jobs, and that battle is currently taking place in Pennsylvania, where the legislature is considering allowing autonomous vehicles without human drivers to operate on state highways.
The legislation, SB 965/HB2398, would establish a framework for companies to operate autonomous vehicles without human supervision, and was recently passed by the State House of Representatives and is currently being considered in the State Senate.
The Pennsylvania Teamsters Conference adamantly opposes the legislation and is leading efforts to make sure the bill doesn’t leave workers and public safety behind. The Conference is pushing for changes to the bill, most visibly, the inclusion of a human security operator.
Pennsylvanians, like most Americans, are deeply concerned about the impact autonomous vehicles will have on road safety and jobs.
A recent poll shows voters are overwhelmingly uncomfortable sharing the road with self-driving vehicles and support the physical presence of a human safety operator in all self-driving vehicles.
As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the poll shows that 64 percent of Pennsylvania voters are “very” or “somewhat” uncomfortable sharing the road with “automated driverless vehicles,” and 58 percent says he would feel more comfortable with a human security operator physically present in the vehicle. The survey finds that voters’ comfort level declines as vehicle size increases, with as many as 83 percent of voters uncomfortable sharing the road with driverless semitrailers/tractors.
The poll also shows that 84 percent of voters are concerned that autonomous vehicles are a threat to public safety and 74 percent believe that autonomous vehicles are a threat to replacing workers’ jobs.
“This poll shows what the Pennsylvania Teamsters have been saying all along: The voting public is uncomfortable with this issue and unaware of how quickly the General Assembly is addressing it,” said William Hamilton, president of the Teamsters Conference. from Pennsylvania. “The Pennsylvania Teamsters have made it clear that we will speak in good faith with any elected official from any political party about ideas about how changing technologies can make the jobs of the future safer for the public and workers, but we will not agree to remove all oversight. human in commercial vehicles.
When it comes to voter attitudes toward elected officials, voters were 57 percent less likely to support a politician if they knew the politician supported allowing autonomous vehicles on Pennsylvania roads. By contrast, voters were 60 percent more likely to support a politician who supported requiring a human operator in autonomous vehicles.
“The autonomous vehicle industry is spending billions of dollars to destroy good jobs, not to lobby for new technology,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “These vehicles are dangerous, untested and unpopular. Worse yet, the corporations that produce them are intent on taking human drivers off the road and making millions of jobs obsolete. America’s roads and highways are for public use, commerce, and real drivers, not unsafe corporate experiments fueled by greed.”