NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Limousine Association (http://limo.org) reaches out to President Trump to protect the American worker in regards to Uber’s open push for autonomous vehicles. In the open letter below, on behalf of the National Limousine Association, Co-Founder Scott Solombrino responds to Uber’s move from its current model of ride-sharing using freelance drivers to owning a fleet of autonomous cars about not being a commercial business until drivers are no longer in the picture.
Dear President Trump,
Over the course of your campaign and in the first year of your presidency, I have been encouraged by your commitment to the prosperity of the American Worker. As you are aware, our country was founded on the principal that hard working Americans have a standard set of protections afforded to them by law, and that all reasonable efforts will be made to keep people employed who have a desire and ability to work.
As technology continues to improve by leaps and bounds, individuals have faced increasing threats as jobs become automated. The latest of these threats is coming from autonomous motor vehicles (AVs), and the views and practices put forth by the companies advocating for their development.
The most recent example of this attitude can be attributed to Uber’s Head of Automotive Alliances, Jeff Miller who was recently quoted in The Guardian as saying of ride-hailing companies “It only becomes a commercial business when you can remove that vehicle operator from the equation.” Uber is a business that has built its existence on the hard work and labor of its drivers, profited off of the revenue generated by hardworking Americans and now it has publicly stated that its goal is to rid itself of the majority of its workforce.
While it is true that this technology can be adapted to greatly enhance road safety, it cannot be implemented at the expense of the millions of drivers who depend on this income to survive. This technology also cannot be used in lieu of a human. There are simple decisions that only a human can and should make, ethical split second judgements that have the potential to impact dozens of lives that cannot be left to a computer. No mother, brother, sister or father will ever accept that their loved one perished because a computer made a decision.
As recently reported by CBS News, “at least 10 million US jobs have a high risk of bowing to automation in the next decade as companies deploy machines that can learn and perform tasks.” Specifically, over 1.8M truck drivers‘ jobs are now on the line. Some estimates peg the number of jobs in the U.S that rely on driving at 20 million, this cannot be ignored.
Mister President, while it is important that we champion new and advantageous technology that allows our country to remain a model for the rest of the world, it is also important that we require operators to remain part of the equation as the economic and safety implications are tremendous. If this innovation is to move forward, I call on you to make sure the men and women that voted for you are well represented throughout all stages of the process.
To be put simply, it is your promise and your prerogative to ensure that the American worker is protected and allowed to prosper. Drivers are voters, computers are not. This will be among your most enduring legacies as President, and I urge you to speak out on this issue and come to the aid of hard-working American drivers.
President, Dav El Boston Coach
Co-Founder, National Limousine Association
ABOUT THE NLA:
The National Limousine Association is a non-profit organization responsible for and dedicated to representing the interests of the private driver transportation industry at the global, national, state, and local level. It is the unified voice of this industry – linking transportation industry professionals from owners and operators to suppliers, manufacturers, regional and state limousine associations. With more than 2,000 NLA members, the Association is committed to exceeding expectations with regards to professionalism, transportation efficiency and safe riding.
For additional information on the NLA, please visit www.limo.org.
ABOUT RIDE RESPONSIBLY:
The Ride Responsibly campaign is an unprecedented effort to bridge an industry-wide gap between the rights of passengers and the responsibilities of service providers. The campaign establishes best safety practices for prearranged car services and ride-hailing app car services such as Lyft and Uber. This initiative by the National Limousine Association is designed to help address growing public concern and provide a forum for all to voice their views on the ground transportation industry. The program focuses on educating both service providers and the public about regulations, legislation and best practices within the industry. The goal is to empower and inform the public at large, and drivers and operators alike with the necessary tools to Ride Responsibly.
For additional information on Ride Responsibly™, please visit www.rideresponsibly.org.