Save Lives. Save Jobs with the SAVE* Act
*Safe Autonomous Vehicles Everywhere
This November, Workers’ Rights will be on the ballot. There will be a referendum to add a Worker’s
Rights Amendment to the Illinois Constitution.
While it would be a big step forward for labor, it may not be enough. We need more at a time when
the big corporations want to totally eliminate as many jobs as they can to maximize their profits.
As a design engineer, that understands the technology, I see the biggest threat to good paying
jobs being driverless autonomous vehicles.
I can foresee the elimination of most truck drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, railroad engineers and
train crews, watercraft and aircraft pilots. Along with those jobs, dispatchers will also likely go away
as they can be replaced by computers controlled via a phone app.
The sensors, AI (artificial intelligence), and the technology that makes autonomous vehicles
possible without doubt can greatly enhance safety. But what autonomous vehicles will never be
capable of is the human judgment that can only be learned from experience from actually ‘driving
the route’ in dealing with ever changing and unforeseen situations. Not something a computer
geek can program into a fully autonomous vehicle.
Even if the autonomous vehicle is being monitored from a remote location, a remote operator, not
actually being present on vehicle or on the scene, cannot make a reliable evaluation of a situation
and therefore cannot make sound judgments anywhere near as well as a human vehicle operator.
Therefore, I want to advance legislation that will:
Prohibit all passenger carrying vehicles to operate on any public roadway or waterway without a
person with the appropriate qualifications and license of the same type of non-autonomous vehicle
being in the vehicle and capable of taking over full manual control of the vehicle in situations
deemed necessary to prevent loss of life or limb or prevent damage to property.
Prohibit all rail cars, whether autonomous or remote controlled. to cross a public at-grade crossings
where motorists drive over railroad tracks and/or pedestrians cross over railroad track unless such
rail car has a qualified live operator on the rail car that can take over full control of the rail car in the
event of an emergency situation.
Prohibit all rail cars, whether autonomous or remote controlled to operate on tracks that pass
through or operate within ¼ mile of any residential area of 25 or more occupied homes and/or
buildings of mass occupancy such as but not limited to retail, establishments, schools, libraries,
community centers, and resorts unless such rail car has a qualified live operator on the rail car that
can take over full control of the rail car in the event of an emergency situation.
The legislation would provide for the enforcement; provides civil penalties; and preempts home