Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous Vehicles



NWRA believes that safety must always come first when legislative and regulatory decisions are made regarding autonomous vehicles.


NWRA is supportive of innovative technologies that make Americans’ lives simpler and safer. The field of autonomous vehicles has seen the technology outpace the understanding of the issues that it raises and the regulations that may be necessary to ensure its safe deployment and use. NWRA believes that the safety of its industry’s frontline members on collection trucks as well as that of the general public must always come first when legislative and regulatory decisions are made regarding autonomous vehicles and efforts to decrease accidents caused by human error.

The public’s interest in automation across all aspects of today’s society provides indications as to future deployment of such technology. As the fundamental ideas of safety and autonomous vehicles becomes ever more intertwined, the waste and recycling industry must be a part of the conversation. Apart from the U.S. Postal Service, no other industry apart from waste and recycling travels every road in America at least once a week, every week, making it one of the most significant stakeholders when it comes to this issue.

Safety must be the first consideration when developing legislation and regulations of autonomous vehicles intended to combat driver fatigue, mitigate traffic accidents, reduce congestion, decrease emissions, and increase cost efficiencies. Likewise, potential problems with computer/artificial intelligence interaction with the natural environment and unexpected human behavior must be addressed to ensure safety.

  • NWRA supports legislation/regulations of autonomous vehicles that ensure the safety of our consumers and workers in the waste in recycling industry.
  • The waste and recycling industry’s ubiquitous nature means that it must be an integral part of the autonomous vehicle conversation.
  • Legislation/regulations must address both the human and computer/artificial intelligence components of the autonomous vehicle issue.

Updated January 2020.