This is the monthly edition of the Transport Workers Union's Transport Technology Newsletter. We want to hear from our members, workers, and colleagues about developments in transportation technology and what TWU is doing to ensure that new technologies don't compromise safety or harm the lives of hardworking blue-collar workers. We aim to inform and educate the movement, the public and policy makers. Worker. For suggestions or questions, please email or

This month's item

Change the AV playback field

A few weeks ago, the Transportation Workers Union successfully secured first-of-its-kind contract language with the Central Ohio Transit Authority that gives the union veto power over the introduction of self-driving cars. And TWU doesn't stop there. Ohio's contract language will serve as a template for future TWU negotiations in cities across the country.

“Big Tech and its profit-seeking investors are actively trying to impose an ugly future where everything, including public transport, is automated,” said John Samuelsen, chairman of TWU International. “We will always fight to protect the jobs of transit workers and the safety of passengers.”

TWU has 37 transit agencies and represents bus companies in cities such as Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, New York City, Akron, Ann Arbor, Omaha, San Francisco, and Winston-Salem. The contract also states that bus drivers and mechanics cannot be fired or have their wages reduced because of new or improved technology.

But contract language protects passengers, not just jobs. TWU Vice-Chancellor for International Affairs Curtis Tate said bus operators play many important roles beyond driving.

“Bus operators find and reunite lost children with their parents, perform life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation, alert first responders to crimes in progress, assist pregnant women on their way to give birth, and assist pregnant women who are disoriented and confused. We've been helping seniors who are in the middle of nowhere,” Tate said. “You name the situation. They saw it and helped.”

Ohio's contract language was drafted by the TWU Technology Task Force and TWU Local Presidents. Mr. Samuelsen and Mr. Tate congratulated Local 208 President Jarvis Williams for negotiating the COTA contract and managing its ratification by members.

While self-driving cars have generated negative headlines in states such as California as a threat to public safety, the emergence of prototypes of four- to 15-passenger shuttles and self-driving full-size buses has led to the emergence of self-driving mass transit. A potentially dangerous step has begun.

What else do you cook?

California regulators block Waymo's plan to flood California roads with driverless zombie cars

The threatening driverless ride-hailing service run by giants General Motors and Alphabet (formerly Google) faces safety concerns as California regulators suspend Waymo's application to expand dangerous experiments on state highways. Strict surveillance continues.

The move comes after state safety officials issued an order last fall to stop cruise self-driving cars without an operator on board. All of this comes in the wake of a series of serious safety incidents involving Cruise and Waymo driverless cars, including fires, interruptions in police emergency response, and a woman being hit by a Cruise-operated self-driving car.

“We must end the use of humans as crash dummies for unsafe and poorly regulated self-driving cars run by billionaire tech and car companies,” said John Samuelsen, president of TWU International. ” he said. “This technology is not yet ready for prime time. It's time for regulators to finish their job and protect the public from dangerous uses of automated transportation.”

9 out of 10 Americans don't trust self-driving car technology

A Forbes Advisor survey of 2,000 Americans found that more than 9 in 10 have safety or other concerns about self-driving cars and have “a great deal of confidence” in the technology. Just over one in 10 people answered that. Of those surveyed, 67% said they were, in order, skeptical, concerned, fearful, or generally negative. Amid growing criticism of Tesla's irresponsible introduction and marketing of the Autopilot feature in its cars, more than six in 10 respondents said they had no confidence in Tesla's self-driving technology.

Apple scraps AV Apple Car

After seven years of trial and error, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg, “This is probably one of the most difficult AI projects to actually tackle,” adding that the tech giant has confirmed that it is canceling its self-driving car project. Most of Apple Car's employees will be transferred to generative AI projects, but some layoffs are also expected.

The Verge says it's “surprising that Apple Car's demise coincides with a deteriorating outlook for electric and self-driving cars,” as investment in self-driving cars is “experiencing severe growing pains.” Not,” he wrote. And The Verge points out that Apple has always been conscious of its public image and was trying to avoid negative headlines from other California robotaxi companies.

what we are reading

New driverless shuttle coming to Houston metro in 2024? ABC 13 Houston.

Self-driving cars: The revolution that never happened? One week.

Self-driving electric cars consume electricity instead of gasoline. Bloomberg.

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