A Good START for Automated Vehicle Technology that Should Extend to Trucking

Last week, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the American Vision for Safer Transportation Through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act (S. 1885).

CEI supports this bipartisan legislation, although we have noted ways in which the AV START Act could be further improved. As a first step, supporters of automated vehicle technology came out largely ahead.

One area where we believe the bill could be improved is in its failure to include heavy trucks in the proposed highly automated vehicle policy framework. The reason for their exclusion was opposition from the Teamsters union, which fears automated trucks will eliminate its members’ jobs. CEI wrote to the Senate Commerce Committee today to explain that the Teamsters’ fears are unfounded, and that even if they were otherwise, Congress should not put the private interests of professional drivers ahead of the public interest in improved freight safety and mobility.

Read the full letter here.