California Governor Rejects Bill Mandating Human Drivers for Autonomous Trucks
Governor Newsom's veto sparks debate over safety, jobs, and tech industry interests
Governor Newsom’s stance on the matter may not come as a surprise to some, as he has cultivated a reputation for being tech-friendly during his tenure. Yet, the decision did not come without internal pressure. The Office of Business and Economic Development, a state entity, expressed concerns that enacting the bill could prompt tech companies invested in self-driving technology to relocate their operations outside of California.
However, the rejection of the bill has sparked vehement opposition from the California Labor Federation, led by Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher. Fletcher contends that failing to require human drivers in autonomous trucks could result in the loss of approximately 250,000 jobs. She issued a statement expressing concern about what she views as the dangerous nature of autonomous trucks, while also condemning what she sees as a preference for tech companies over workers’ safety and employment stability.