The controversial self-driving truck regulations may see Congressional action this year.
Lawmakers Mull Autonomous Truck Legislation
According to Bloomberg Government, Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo) wants to start taking on the task of legislating self-driving commercial vehicles either this year or in 2019. He is in line to take over the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for the retiring Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa). Legislative framework has been created for driver-less cars that potentially could be used for a commercial vehicle legal framework.
Currently the Brotherhood of Teamsters is the largest lobbying body voicing their concern over the loss of jobs and safety issues for other drivers should regulations go forward.
In September the Senate held hearings regarding self-driving technology and moved forward with approving it for automobiles but tabled any talk for larger commercial vehicles until after the Christmas Break.
Technology Threatens To Disrupt Trucking Jobs
While the technology seems to be inevitable, the questions remains what will happen to the US’s truck drivers and the $700 billion industry. While industry experts say it will take 5 to 10 years to come to fruition, some self-driving trucks are already on the road.
Refrigerators are already being moved along the I-10 from El Paso to destinations in Southern California. And the company Embark recently tested its self-driving software with a 5-day 2,400 mile California-to-Florida drive.
— Aaron Klemz (@aaronklemz) February 16, 2018
Self-driving truck tech came quickly to the forefront of the trucking industry and the nation at large in 2016 after Anheuser-Busch made successful 120-mile trip in Colorado hauling beer from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs.