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CNN 10 - January 17, 2018

CNN 10

A Possible U.S. Government Shutdown as a Budget Deadline Looms; The Potential Economic Impacts of Driverless Cars

Aired January 17, 2018 - 04:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Is the U.S. government on the verge of shutting down? What exactly does that mean anyway?

That`s the first story we`re explaining today on CNN 10.

The U.S. government has a budget. It lays out what the government plans to spend on various programs and if Congress cannot agree on what that budget should be, a government shutdown is possible.

So, what would actually happen?

Nothing for services that are considered essential. Air traffic control would continue operating. Government medical workers would stay on the job, along with border patrol officers. Security and defense would stay in place, though troops in the military might not get their paychecks until the government starts running again, though they would get back pay when it did.

Civilian government employees could be sent home without pay.

What could actually shut down?

National parks, the Smithsonian museums, the Education Department, though schools would stay open. Other government departments, including the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, they could all close.

Has the government shut down before?

Yes, nearly 20 times in the past 40 years.

When it would happen this time around?

Possibly on Friday night. The government`s budget runs 12 months from October 1st through the following September 30th. But when lawmakers couldn`t agree on the budget last fall, they started passing short term spending deals, which kept the government funded temporarily. The current one of those expires Friday at midnight.

So, what are the hang-ups on a longer term budget?

Well, Democrats insist the budget should contain a solution for young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children. Republicans insist the budget should contain more money for border security. And the White House insists on funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Experts say that most Republicans and most Democrats do not want the government to shut down, and each side blames the other for the holdup.

But if they can`t reach an agreement on either a full budget or another temporary one to delay a shutdown, one could happen starting this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia.

Which of these companies is not considered one of America`s "Big Three" automakers?

Ford, General Motors, Toyota, or Fiat Chrysler?

Though it`s one of the largest carmakers in the world, Toyota isn`t considered one of America`s "Big Three" because it`s based in Japan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: One thing they all have in common is their investment in driverless cars, autonomous vehicles. They`re being tested around the world. And though there`s a lot of talk and excitement over cars and trucks that completely drive themselves, most experts say that won`t be a reality for decades.

There are debates over whether they`ll make transportation cheaper or worsen urban sprawl, whether they`ll reduce air pollution or increase traffic. There are questions about their safety. And one big concern is how they`ll impact the economy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve hauled containers. I`ve hauled tankers. I`ve hauled doubles, hazmat. I got the lights for everything. A lot of bad things about it, a lot of good things about it.

It`s not a family life. I was gone three weeks out of a month. It messed you up a little bit because, you know, you want to be home with your wife, and, you know, your family.

This is totally different, you know? I never thought of a truck driving itself. I mean, how many people have?

REPORTER: Jeff Runyons (ph) left trucking to work for Starsky Robotics. He`s one of the first test drivers who has mad the lift to driverless trucks.

An autonomous future will mean an earthquake level disruption in the American job market. With 5 million professional drivers on the road in the U.S., Goldman estimates that we could see as many as 300,000 jobs disappearing annually once autonomous vehicles are adopted. In Silicon Valley, dozens are very concerned.

EDWARD WYTKIND, SENIOR ADVISOR TO AFL-CIO: From a pure driver perspective, I think the wave of automation that`s coming is very friendly. There`s no doubt that a truck driver, a bus driver, someone who drives for either taxi companies or these on-demand companies like Uber and Lyft, they`re at risk.

You`ve never been able to stop automation.

I think the issue is not whether you`re going to stop it, because I think history shows you don`t stop it. I think the issue is how do you implement it? What`s the responsible way to do it? Who has an obligation to worry about the working people?

REPORTER: This isn`t a new story. We`ve already seen the reaction to disruption that technology can cause. Taxi drivers around the world have risen up against ride-sharing companies. Uber is even banned in some cities.

What will happen when millions of jobs go up in smoke and it`s not even a human that`s replacing it?

GABE KLEIN, EXPERT ON CITY PLANNING: We`re at the calm before the storm, at the cusp of coming off a major cliff. Autonomous vehicles are going to be the legend edge to that. That is going to be a moment that`s going to change this. I think this is going to be a next shoe to drop.

REPORTER: Like trucking, ride-sharing companies that employ drivers are moving quickly toward animation. Uber is testing in Pittsburgh, and Lyft just partnered with Ford and Waymo to build a fleet of driverless cars.

The Big Three auto companies are investing in driverless technology by spending billions to purchase autonomous driving companies. General Motors acquired Cruise Automation. Ford bought Argo AI. And Fiat Chrysler has partnering with BMW to develop driverless technology.

We have to think beyond just working drivers and the auto industry. The ripple effect on jobs could affect almost all of us.

BRYANT WALKER SMITH, EXPERT ON THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF AUTONOMOUS DRIVING: If I don`t need to stop at a hotel overnight because I`m sleeping in the car, well, what would that do for rest stops and hotels and other industries? If potentially there are fewer crashes, how will that affect my job, my neighbors` jobs, repair jobs, emergency responders? How will affect the capacity of hospitals?

WYTKIND: There`s delivery people who work for the various delivery companies and you`ve got this massive influx of drones that are likely to dot the air space as many as 7 million in the sky at one point down the road. It`s pretty mass disruption out there. It`s pretty serious stuff and a lot of people are at risk.

REPORTER: Of course, there`s a flip side to all this doom and gloom. Jobs as we know them will be lost. But with new technologies comes new opportunities for work. The disruption could cause short term pain. But it will increase long term prosperity.

SEBASTIAN THRUN, CHAIRMAN AND CO-FOUNDER OF UDACITY, SCHOOL FOR DRIVERLESS CAR ENGINEERS: I see this as a positive and I know it`s going to be hard for some people to hear me say this, because obviously if you lose your job, it`s no little thing. But as a society, as we build technology that takes away repetitive menial work, we`ve been able to become more and more creative, and more and more educated.

Anybody who`s fond of driving will now come to Udacity. We train you to be a software engineer, data analysts, what-have-you, and many of the jobs that people pick up after coming to us pay six-figure salaries, I kid you not.

WYTKIND: It`s removed from reality, this idea that everybody is going to go to Silicon Valley and be an engineer.

RAJ RAJKUMAR, PROFESSOR OF ENGINEERING AT CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY: The bad news is they will be an impact on jobs. The good news is that it`s going to take quite a few years before we get there. So, I think we have the time to put in place some new programs who train these workers to basically for example instead of driving a truck day in and day out, you basically go build the sensor, fix it, diagnose it, repair it and so on, you could actually end up getting a higher-paying job. But one has to be willing to actually learn some new skills.

B, the government agencies and nonprofit organizations need to basically step in and put these programs in place.

REPORTER: That leaves people like Jeff Runyons (ph) in Florida who are already looking for opportunities in the new economy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got older gentlemen like myself, they don`t like it because I think you`re trying to take the jobs. It`s gong to come one way or another. We may not like it or not, but it`s going to happen.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: In the town of Old Line, Connecticut, it`s not supposed to get warmer than the 30s for the next few days. So, this will probably stick around. It`s a homemade igloo, more than 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide, it`s a father`s way to encourage his kids to play outside in the winter.

The family that built it started with a giant pile of snow and then dug through it to create the room, complete with benches, lights and a fire place.

Who knew something so cool could be so warm? And as long as the weather is frightful, it will stay delightful. It`s been winterized, it comes fully furnice. It makes a great snow piece, but how long it will last, I haven`t an ig-clue.

I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.

END