It’s reported a transportation group in New York is calling for a ban on the introduction of driverless cars because of fears the technology will cause four million job losses in the country.
The website the Daily Dot, which says that equates to 3% of all jobs in the US, reports that there are no regulations currently in place to prevent this from happening, but that we are “starting to see some of the first opposition groups sprout up, and one of them wants autonomous vehicles banned for decades”.
The report says New York’s Upstate Transportation Association (UTA) and Independent Drivers Guild (the latter being the first labour group recognised by Uber) are working to ban self-driving vehicles in the state to prevent the potential loss of thousands of jobs. And UTA, which represents taxi, livery, medical transportation, and paratransit drivers, is asking for a 50-year ban on self-driving cars.
“It doesn’t do anything for the local economy to have driverless cars,” John Tomassi, the president of the Upstate Transportation Association, is quoted on CNN. “I’m sure there’s a little bit of job creation, but nothing that will match the number of jobs lost.”
The IDG is taking a more passive approach, and believes New York law already prohibits the use of autonomous vehicles. The group, which represents 45,000 drivers, believes the New York law that requires a driver to have one hand on the wheel at all times will be enough to keep self-driving cars off the road. The law says nothing of vehicles without drivers.
Some politicians in Britain have pointed out that technical advances have always affected the jobs people do, but always increase productivity. One example given is the mechanisation of farming which meant far fewer people were needed to work in the fields, but that over time the economy found different, “less back-breaking” jobs for them to do.