The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's subcommittee on highways and transit plans to hold a hearing titled “The Road Ahead for Automated Vehicles” on Feb. 2. The meeting will include experts, labor leaders and industry representatives.
The meeting will include testimony from Transport Workers Union of America President John Samuelsen, reported a spokeswoman for the union that represents more than 150,000 airline, railroad, transit and other workers.
Nat Beuse, head of safety at self-driving startup Aurora Innovation Inc. and representatives of the Teamsters union and the Self-Driving Coalition, recently renamed as the Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association (AVIA), also will testify. Companies like Ford Motor Co., Lyft Inc., Uber Technologies Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo LLC also will be present.
Congress rebuffed efforts by Republican Senator John Thune to approve legislation easing regulations on autonomous vehicles in 2021.
Thune has proposed granting power to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to grant exemptions for self-driving vehicles from safety standards written with human drivers in mind.
“For automated vehicle technology to advance, it is imperative that the regulatory framework catch up with private-sector innovation,” Thune said in May.
Thune’s effort faced significant opposition from unions and groups representing trial attorneys.
Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department for AFL-CIO, told U.S. lawmakers in September that autonomous vehicles place millions of jobs at risk and self-driving legislation should not apply to commercial trucks.