Self-Driving Cars a 'Threat' to Driving Industries, Drivers Push for 50-Year Ban

Jan 19, 2017 04:00 AM EST

A recent move to ban self-driving cars for at least 50 years is the most recent sign that some people who drive for a living are threatened by the emergence of driverless cars.

According to Digital Trends, New York's Upstate Transportation Association (UTA) wants a 50-year ban on self-driving cars. The association said Uber and Lyft will be shifting to self-driving ridesharing, which can potentially cut thousands of jobs.

CNN says Uber has promised 13,000 jobs in upstate New York. The UTA -- which represents taxi, medical transportation, paratransit, and livery drivers -- isn't exactly "buying" Uber's promise.

John Tomassi, UTA president, told CNN that it "doesn't do anything for the local economy to have driverless cars." He also said this may not match the jobs lost to self-driving cars.

However, they're not the only group pushing to ban self-driving cars. The Independent Drivers Guild, yet another New York City group that is home to 45,000 drivers for hire, believes New York laws right now should be banning self-driving cars already and will fight to keep the laws in place. The law they focus on has a weakness, however, as it refers to drivers and vehicles.

Ed Walters, a Georgetown University Law Center robotic law teacher, said that this certain New York law requires that when people drive a car, they have a hand on the wheel. However, there's no requirement that self-driving cars should have anything on the wheel. 

Regardless, Uber and Lyft appear to be testing self-driving cars in other states. However, Uber is asking for permission to offer its ridesharing services throughout the state.

On the New York City website, New York governor Andrew Cuomo presented a plan to allow ridesharing throughout a state. He said it provides economic opportunity and a cost-effective alternative to transportation to ensure all residents outside the city will have access to its benefits.  

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