Employers, including UPS, are testing new technology, called platooning, to move one step closer to driverless trucks. The International Union needs to take action to protect union jobs and public safety.
Platooning technology links a series of trucks which accelerate and break simultaneously, and automatically, based on the lead vehicle.
The ultimate goal of platooning is to connect a series of driverless trucks to one driver-operated truck.
The math is easy—and dangerous. One driver operating three or more trucks eliminates jobs. It also threatens public safety.
Over a dozen states have regulations on the books allowing platooning or other automation in commercial trucking.
The IBT has put out statements against platooning and driverless trucks.
But the UPS contract did not ban the company from using platooning or driverless vehicles. Now, the company is moving to test the technology.
UPS planned to start testing platooning this year in Texas. Teamsters Local 767 in Dallas-Fort Worth has delayed tests and is partnering with the AFL-CIO to fight for stricter regulations on commercial trucking automation in the state.