Driverless cars arrive in AZ amid fears they will kill jobs

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In this Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, Devin Greene sits in the front seat of an Uber driverless car during a test drive in San Francisco. (Source: AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) In this Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, Devin Greene sits in the front seat of an Uber driverless car during a test drive in San Francisco. (Source: AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey welcomed the first of Uber's self-driving cars to the state Friday morning after California tried to force them off the roads.

"California may not want you but Arizona does want Uber," Ducey said after three of the autonomous vehicles arrived on the back of a self-driving semitruck. 

It was hailed as a big economic win by Ducey, who has focused on bringing innovative companies to the state. 

But for others, the diverless cars represented a potential job killer. 

"I'm frustrated, I need to be making money right now, but I'm down here looking about my replacements," said Pete Baldwin, who drives for the ride-sharing company. 

Over the past five months, Baldwin says he already has seen less money driving for Uber. 

The automated cars, he says, will add to his financial stress before they eventually force him out of his job. 

"What they're going to do is slowly phase us out, it's already ... hard enough earning money because they flooded the Valley with Uber drivers so my income has dropped over 60 percent," he said. 

Uber started testing the new vehicles in San Francisco earlier this month but ran into regulatory problems with the State of California. 

Transportation officials reportedly demanded the cars be licensed as test vehicles and ordered them off the roads.

Ducey said the company will be expanding the pilot program in the coming weeks. 

During the testing phase, the governor said, there will be human drivers in the front seat to make sure cars are operating properly.

[RELATED: California puts brakes on Uber's self-driving car rollout]

[RELATED: Uber coming to AZ to test self-driving cars, governor says 'Welcome']

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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