Waymo, UPS, others pressure Gov. Newsom to allow autonomous trucking in California – TechCrunch
Waymo, Aurora, UPS and Luminar are among a group of 34 autonomous vehicle developers, California business organizations and automotive and logistics companies that have signed open letter Governor Gavin Newsom asked him to review the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ 2015 ban on the operation of self-driving trucks in the state.
California began regulating self-driving cars in 2012, and is an important battlefield state for robotaxi operations. Last weekend, Cruise starts charging for completely unmanned tripsand Waymo recently Opens up drone testing for employees in San Francisco. Although opening AV regulations to larger AVs to delivery purpose in 2019DMV regulations continue to exclude testing autonomously or deploying vehicles weighing more than 10,001 pounds.
Texas, the state that accepts all of Silicon Valley’s tax refugees, is home to most of the nation’s autonomous trucking operations, with companies like Waymo Via, dawn, Kodiak Robotics, TuSimple and more, testing or operating commercial partnerships. Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Nevada and Colorado also have test and rollout regulations for autonomous trucks.
California used to be a leader in regulating light autonomous vehicles, especially for robotics, but the people behind the letter to Newsom argue that without updated trucking regulations autonomous, the state will lag behind in terms of technological progress and business opportunities.
“Without regulations enabling this technology, California risks losing our competitive edge,” the letter read. “As industry rolls out new pilot programs, builds critical infrastructure, and creates 21st-century jobs, California businesses need to grow, investments limited to Other states allow the deployment of self-driving trucks.”
Letter sites a Recent research released by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundationan advocacy group with a mission to uphold Silicon Valley’s position as the international capital of technology innovation, found that automated trucking in California could boost the state’s economy by 6.5 billion dollars. USD or more and create up to 2,400 new jobs.
In states where autonomous trucking is legal and regulated, AV companies are not only testing and deploying their technology, but also setting up the necessary infrastructure to operate a service. Commerce.
Example: Waymo Via has doubled transfer center network in Texasallows the company to take a mixed manual and automated trucking approach to ensure Waymo Driver, Waymo’s AV stack, sticks to major routes and human drivers handle first-mile deliveries and finally.
The letter was signed by a range of industry advocates, from AV tech companies like Waabi, Embark and Einride, to logistics companies like DHL Supply Chains, UPS and US Xpress, to members of the company. many California chambers of commerce and more.
Neither Newsom nor the DMV’s offices responded to TechCrunch promptly with comments.
California recently passed SB 500a law that says any light autonomous vehicle operating in the state will have to be electric by 2030. While Monday’s letter to Newsom said signatories would welcome the opportunity to work With the governor’s office to develop a regulatory framework for autonomous trucking in the state, the group is more focused on giving heavy trucks the green light on the road than on ensuring transportation. Self-driving roads in the state are made with zero-emissions vehicles from the start.
“Part of the problem here is that we’re at an impasse, which means nothing can happen,” Peter Katz, president and CEO of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, told TechCrunch. “So when you talk about whether they should run on electricity or they run on gas, it’s almost too far out of the question. First, we have to figure out what the requirements are so that we can answer them intelligently. From the business point of view, this is a logjam that really needs to be let go so that all else can open up and start flowing. “
The letter sent to Newsom Monday follows a similar letter to the governor written by a group of seven California lawmakers and sent in May. That note asks for information from the administration about steps the DMV has taken to understand emerging heavy-duty AV trucking technology and its impact in California; why California lags behind other states in AV trucking regulations; and when the DMV will begin the rule-making process for heavy AV air transport and on what date the DMV will finalize those regulations.