Platooning Technology Threatens Teamster Jobs

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.

Platooning and driverless technology are a threat. The International Union needs to lead the charge to protect good jobs and public safety. 

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  • Kevin Rawle
    commented 2019-03-02 19:57:59 -0500
    Driving Semi-trucks is a difficult and dangerous job at times, with other drivers causing most of the problems. Even if they develop autonomous trucks there will be no way for the computers to make the hundreds of decisions a driver makes in every shift. I am sure the whole thing will fall flat on its face in no time.
  • Thomas Viles
    commented 2019-02-03 08:59:06 -0500
    Being a mechanic, they haven’t figured out how to get anywhere without us…
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