Washington, DC – John Samuelsen, International President of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), issues in this statement in response to the suspension of Cruise’s operating and testing permits by the California Department of Motor Vehicles:
“California’s Department of Motor Vehicles absolutely made the right decision and recognized exactly what the TWU has been saying since the beginning: autonomous vehicles must be held accountable to measurable safety standards, not their own marketing brochures. Profit-focused tech executives should have never been allowed to test unproven driverless machines on the streets of one of America’s bustling cities to begin with. As we have seen, testing fledging driverless technology without a human operator poses serious and life-threatening risks to road users, pedestrians, and other innocent bystanders.
“This action underscores the urgent need for more federal involvement in regulating autonomous vehicles nationwide. California’s Public Utilities Commission rubber stamped Cruise’s operation over and over again despite numerous safety issues. Too many states are allowing these untested vehicles on our roads in massive numbers without any oversight or meaningful requirements. Cruise’s operations in Miami, Austin, and elsewhere are going to continue unaffected despite this great decision by the California DMV. The federal government must step in to provide a national standard that protects every transportation worker and other road users across the country.
“As a union of professional transport operators, the TWU predicted this outcome from the beginning. Operating a commercial motor vehicle is a demanding responsibility that requires skill, specialized training, and the ability to make split-second, life-saving decisions. Despite the propaganda pushed by tech executives, Cruise has shown the world that robots are incapable of even coming close to achieving the high standards human operators meet each and every day.”