The White House on Thursday called on Congress to fund a program that would allow states to pay for the costs of Uber’s autonomous vehicles, saying the company has overpaid drivers in states that have refused to take on the autonomous vehicles.
“Uber is not paying its drivers a fair share,” press secretary Josh Earnest said.
“The federal government should step in and help these states fund their own autonomous vehicle programs.”
Earnest added that the federal government is “in the process of making it possible for states to fund their autonomous vehicle program through the Federal Highway Administration,” a federal program.
Earnest was responding to a question about the Trump administration’s proposal to pay a federal tax credit for the purchase of vehicles.
The administration on Thursday said it would pay a $500 credit to states that choose to use autonomous vehicles in the transportation space.
“I want to make sure we’re paying for the cost of autonomous vehicles as well,” Earnest told reporters.
“I think the federal tax credits are very helpful.”
The tax credit is expected to go into effect in 2021.
Uber said it is in the process, however, of developing a software package to make its cars more efficient.
The company said it plans to hire more than 500 drivers in 2021, with the majority of them coming from autonomous vehicles and self-driving software.
The company said that the tax credit would only apply to purchases that the companies are currently developing and testing.
Earny also reiterated that the Trump Administration is pushing to cut federal funding to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which he said is “overpaid by $4 billion a year.”
“We’ve seen that with the Taser, the TSA has overreached,” Earny said.