California Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill to require human drivers on board self-driving trucks, a measure that union leaders and truck drivers said would save hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state.
The legislation vetoed Friday night would have banned self-driving trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds — ranging from UPS delivery vans to massive big rigs — from operating on public roads unless a human driver is on board.
Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, head of the California Labor Federation, said driverless trucks are dangerous and called Newsom’s veto shocking. She estimates that removing drivers would cost a quarter-million jobs in the state.
“We will not sit by as bureaucrats side with tech companies, trading our safety and jobs for increased corporate profits. We will continue to fight to make sure that robots do not replace human drivers and that technology is not used to destroy good jobs,” Fletcher said in a statement late Friday.
In a statement announcing that he would not sign the bill, the Democratic governor said additional regulation of autonomous trucks was unnecessary because existing laws are sufficient.