If signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the bill would require a trained human safety operator be present any time an autonomous truck is on the road. AB 316 passed the Senate floor with 36 votes in favor and two against it.
However, Newsom “has a reputation for being friendly to the tech industry and is expected to veto AB 316,” Tech Crunch noted.
In August, Dee Dee Myers, senior advisor to Newsom, wrote a letter opposing the bill. She stated that AB 316 “undermines existing oversight” and could “limit supply chain innovation and application.”
The bill was first introduced in January by advocates who argued that having more control over autonomous trucks would ensure job security for drivers.
Advocates of the bill, first introduced in January, also argue that having more control over the removal of safety drivers from autonomous trucks would protect California road users.
“AV companies have lost billions of dollars in the self-driving vehicle space over the last few years and are now trying to appease their investors by imposing unsafe, inadequate products on the public,” Jason Rabinowitz, president of Teamsters Joint Council 7, said in a statement. “These corporate elites have no regard whatsoever for the safety or prosperity of the communities they will put in harm’s way. Gov. Newsom needs to do right by Californians.”