Transportation Technology Campaign Newsletter
February 17, 2022
If you see or hear about new technologies or services, please send us an email, TransportationTech@twu.org
TWU President Samuelsen Testifies at Congressional Hearing on Automated Vehicles
TWU International John Samuelsen testified before the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and urged passage of federal legislation that applies the toughest safety standards to the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry and prohibits transit systems from running service without a human operator on-board.
No level of automation will “eliminate the need for a qualified operator on-board every [transit] vehicle, any more than the autopilot features in commercial aircraft at 35,000 feet should ever replace two skilled pilots in the cockpit,” Samuelsen told lawmakers.
‘Humans Should Drive Our Transit Future, Not Autonomous Vehicles’
Read the Op-Ed by President Samuelsen
Tesla Recalls Cars that May Roll Past Four Way Stop Signs
That’s right. Tesla boasts about its “fully driverless” but now must explain why these tech-filled vehicles run 4-way stop signs. That’s why Congress and the Biden Administration must act now to make sure this technology is safe before it shows up in transit buses filled with passengers.
This was one of 4 large scale recalls of Tesla vehicles due to technological failings issued by the federal government over just one two week period.
Houston Metro Moving to ‘Phase II’ Driverless Shuttle Between Texas Southern University and University of Houston
Houston Metro will launch the “Shuttle of the Future”, an all-electric, driverless operation. Houston’s Vice Mayor Pro Tempore and Councilmember Martha Castex-Tatum, testifying in the House for the National League of Cities declared, “Transit continues to be where so much of the value of automation can be realized.”
At the same hearing, TWU President John Samuelsen said bus drivers are first responders who keep passengers safe during emergencies and no level of automation will never be able to substitute for the skilled TWU members who deliver safe transit in Houston and across the country.
Tech Investors Funding Development of Robo-Freight Train
Investors are now pouring millions into an automated train project – bringing the same concerns TWU has shared with regard to buses, vans, trucks, and trains to the freight rail industry. The new startup, Parallel Systems, has already received a federal grant to test moving cargo across long distances with no human intervention. Keeping government regulations and workers ahead of this technology is integral to maintaining our safety standards, as well as keeping good transportation jobs in America. The TWU technology campaign is working to make sure workers and elected leaders take action to ensure new technology creates good, union jobs and improves safety. Read the story
WHAT WE’RE READING
Concerns about safe deployment of autonomous vehicles aired at congressional hearing, Smart Cities Dive
Facts matter: on average, there are 9.1 self-driving car accidents per million miles driven versus 4.1 crashes per million miles for regular cars, National Law Review
Chief federal safety agency chair criticizes Tesla “full self-driving” claims, CNBC
The TWU, other unions push autonomous vehicle principles