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New York driver groups push for a ban on autonomous cars

One outfit is even calling for a 50-year moratorium.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 16, 2017
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Jeff Swensen via Getty Images

It's no secret that ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft dream of a day when they can depend solely on self-driving cars, and that's making driver organizations more than a little nervous. New York's Upstate Transportation Association and Independent Drivers Guild are both pressing for bans on autonomous vehicles in the state out of concern that they'll ultimately cost thousands of transportation jobs. The IDG believes that it only needs to preserve existing laws to guarantee a ban, but the UTA is considerably more aggressive -- it wants a 50-year ban on self-driving cars. Yes, there's a real chance you wouldn't even be alive to see the day when driverless rides hit New York roads.

These are just group policies, and the state doesn't have to listen to them. Governor Cuomo certainly doesn't appear fazed so far: he just announced a desire to make ridesharing available across the state, not just in New York City. However, this vocal opposition sets the stage for future battles over autonomy. Just as taxi companies have fought ridesharing at every step, you can expect driver organizations worldwide to fight automation tooth and nail... even if it means holding back the safety and convenience benefits that self-driving tech will hopefully offer.

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