Lawmakers reintroduce bill to require a human in self-driving trucks

While Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the same effort last year, Democrats are teaming up with labor leaders to push the bill through once again.

California lawmakers are proposing a bill that would require a human to be behind the wheel of self-driving trucks that weigh over 10,000 pounds. 

This is the second time in the last year where lawmakers are trying to implement the requirement, which they say protects good-paying driving jobs and California’s streets. 


The big picture: Asm. Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D–Winters), Asm. Laura Friedman (D–Glendale) and Asm. Ash Kalra (D–San Jose) introduced Assembly Bill 2286 last week to regulate automated vehicles. 

  • Teamsters joined the Democratic lawmakers in Sacramento on Monday for a press conference in support of AB 2286. 

The backstory: Last year Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed Assembly Bill 316, which would have implemented the same requirements, saying it would be unnecessary for the regulation and oversight of heavy-duty autonomous vehicle technology. 

  • Since his veto, proponents of AB 2286 pointed to an incident in San Francisco where a Cruise robotaxi ran over a pedestrian and dragged her 20 feet as a reason why heavy trucks need a human driver at the wheel. 

What they’re saying: “I’ve reintroduced this bill because the Legislature’s role is critical in deciding when autonomous trucking is safe and when there is a real plan for our trucking workers,” Aguiar-Curry said. “The autonomous trucking industry has cast this bill as a ban on technology when it explicitly states that testing and deployment will happen with a Human Safety Operator. Using their logic, they’re the ones who support a ban. A ban on humans in trucks. A ban on working people’s ability to provide for their families and provide safe roadways for Californians. We will not stand by and let them put profits over people.” 

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