Several New York-based professional drivers’ groups are calling for a ban on autonomous vehicles to protect jobs in the state, reports Engadget.

The groups – including Upstate New York’s Transportation Association (UTA) and the newly formed Independent Driver’s Guild (IDG) – are astutely aware that once autonomous vehicle technology is sufficiently developed to replace human drivers, ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft will fire them all tout suite, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs.

The looming introduction of autonomous semi trucks also stands to axe thousands of jobs in New York state alone, while possibly introducing new safety hazards to public roads.

Computers don’t get tired, but they also can’t kick tires like humans can. Nor can they make split-second judgement calls on when to take it into the ditch, or avoid the sidewalk and plow straight ahead in an effort to preserve life.

While the the IDG aims to preserve existing laws in order to prevent autonomous vehicles from hitting the streets of the Empire State, the UTA is gunning for a 50-year ban on the introduction of autonomous vehicles to the state’s roads.

Many governments and heavy-hitters in the automotive sector appear bent on making autonomous cars happen ASAP, but with resistance to the technology building, it’s hard to know how soon – if ever – autonomous cars will be a regular part of drivers’ lives.

And as with the introduction of more widespread automation in industry at large, it’s hard to say how severely the economy will be affected until the pink slips are issued.

(Engadget)