Boston city councilors will study the implications of unleashing fleets of driverless cars on the mean streets of Boston - not just how they will fit in with all the Massholes out there but what the shift would mean for cab and ride-share drivers.
The council approved a request by Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester) to organize a hearing on the topic. Baker said today that rapidly improving technologies and public interest will "quickly make self-driving cars the new norm." He said he wants one focus of any hearing to be how to "protect current members of Boston's workforce" who now drive medallion cabs and Uber and Lyft cars.
"One day, very likely not too far in the future, Uber's going to announce that they don't need to hire any drivers anymore," at-large Councilor Michelle Wu agreed. She added she wants to make sure Boston gets ahead of the technology to figure out how to ensure people share autonomous cars, rather than everybody going out and getting their own driverless whips and further congesting the local roads,