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In move towards autonomous vehicles, let’s not forget impact on transport workers

While Singapore should embrace new technologies that improve productivity, let us not forget the impact technologies such as autonomous vehicles have on workers.

A driverless bus by ComfortDelGro and its partners — Inchcape Singapore and EasyMile — being shown at the 26th Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress on Oct 22, 2019.

A driverless bus by ComfortDelGro and its partners — Inchcape Singapore and EasyMile — being shown at the 26th Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress on Oct 22, 2019.

Teo Neng Wee

I refer to the report, “Trial area for driverless vehicles to be expanded to whole of western Singapore” (Oct 24).

I just graduated with a master's degree in public ethics (philosophy) and I am a proponent of ethical issues surrounding the use of autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence. While Singapore should embrace new technologies that improve productivity, let us not forget the impact that technologies such as autonomous vehicles have on workers.

For one thing, would they pose a threat to the jobs of those in the transport industry, including tens of thousands of ride-hailing drivers, cabbies and bus drivers? How will the Government, unions and companies help workers whose jobs will be affected?

Perhaps the tripartite partners could carry out detailed studies on the effect that autonomous vehicles have on the livelihoods of those who work in the transport industry and publish the results.

Another important consideration in the use of autonomous vehicles is insurance coverage.

Do our laws need to be amended so that insurance claims for accidents, damages to vehicles and property, and claims against death and injuries to other drivers and pedestrians will be properly implemented?

Right now, it is not clear who can be held responsible if there is an accident involving an autonomous vehicle. 

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

Related topics

autonomous vehicles driverless AI Technology transport

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