Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Trucking industry, Navistar back U.S. self-driving legislation

EconomySep 13, 2017 01:19PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. Exterior of Navistar office is seen in Lisle, Illinois

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. trucking trade group and truck maker Navistar International Corp (N:NAV) urged a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday to include self-driving commercial trucks in proposed legislation intended to speed autonomous vehicles to market.

The House last week unanimously approved a bill to hasten the use of self-driving cars and bar states from blocking such vehicles. The bill applies only to vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg). The Senate is considering a similar draft measure that could include large commercial trucks.

"It's important for industry to participate in the creation of advanced driving technologies now," said Navistar Chief Executive Troy Clarke in testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee. "Providing clarity on the legislative and regulatory front will allow us, truck manufacturers, to design and validate systems that meet the future needs of our customers."

Technology industry executives and policymakers are grappling with the possible impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on jobs and the economy as well as questions about potential safety issues.

American Trucking Associations President and Chief Executive Chris Spear said in testimony that it was "critical" that federal policies developed for this technology include all vehicles on U.S. roads.

Auto industry leaders have estimated that 3 million commercial truck jobs could eventually be at risk if self-driving vehicles replaced human drivers.

Spear and Clarke said they did not believe there would be a big near-term impact on jobs.

"Large scale displacement of drivers is not likely too happen, especially in the short and medium term," Clarke said.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has said she is "very concerned" about the impact of self-driving cars on jobs.

The 1.4-million member International Brotherhood of Teamsters union is trying to convince Congress to reject new rules to speed self-driving truck deployment, warning they could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and reduce road safety.

"It is essential that American workers are not treated as guinea pigs for unproven technologies that could put their lives at risk," Teamsters General Secretary Treasurer Ken Hall told the committee on Wednesday.

He argued that commercial trucks operate differently than passenger cars and any issues could cause more damage than those involving smaller vehicles.

Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, who has been working with Republicans to draft self-driving legislation, said at the hearing he did not support including commercial trucks and that safety and job impacts must be addressed.

Many Republican senators support including commercial trucks, as does Deborah Hersman, head of National Safety Council who testified at the hearing on Wednesday.

Senator John Thune, a Republican who chairs the panel, said trucking should be addressed in the legislation, but said no final decision had been made on commercial trucks. He said he hoped to work with Democrats "to strike the right balance."

Thune said Wednesday he hoped to introduce a bill and get committee approval by early October.

Self-driving proponents note that 94 percent of U.S. car crashes are the result of human error and argue self-driving cars could dramatically cut the 35,000 annual road deaths.

Tech firms and shipping companies are bullish on the prospects for self-driving trucks, with Tesla Inc (O:TSLA), Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL]'s Otto unit and Alphabet Inc's Waymo unit (O:GOOGL) working on automated trucks.

Trucking industry, Navistar back U.S. self-driving legislation

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email