Thursday, January 12, 2017

US DOT Appoints Committee to Examine Issues on Automation in Transportation

New Personnel Will Examine Future Potentials and Legislations
Shipping News Feature
US – Following on from the news late last year that China is to set a single standard for autonomous vehicles on its roads the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that it has selected the personnel to establish its new advisory committee focused on examining the impact of automation and potential required legislation across a range of transportation mediums. A full list of new appointees can be seen in our global appointments article published earlier today.

The committee, which includes leading professionals and experts in their field, will hold its first meeting on January 16, 2017 to immediately begin work on some of the most pressing issues facing transportation today, including the development and deployment of automated vehicles and relevant research, policy, and regulations. Amongst those representing the freight industry are Gloria Boyland, Corporate Vice President at FedEx; Chris Spear, CEO of the American Trucking Association (ATA); and Keller Rinaudo, CEO of Zipline International.

As the technology develops automation is undoubtedly going to play a much more significant role across a host of transportation modes, including in personal transportation, road and rail freight, air cargo and with even wider deployment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or ‘drones’). The committee will play a critical role in sharing best practices, challenges, and opportunities in automation, and will open lines of communication so stakeholders can learn and adapt based on feedback from each other. US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that:

“During my time at the Department, we have fostered some of the most significant technological changes to ever take place in transportation, and we did so while keeping our focus on the safety of the American people. This new automation committee will work to advance life-saving innovations while boosting our economy and making our transportation network more fair, reliable, and efficient.”

The DOT is projecting that with the US population expected to grow by 70 million souls in the next three decades, freight volume will increase by some 40%. The committee is thus a critical element in the planning for the future of US transportation and infrastructure needs that are undoubtedly going to change comprehensively in that timeframe.

Photo: An autonomous Zipline UAV delivers medical supplies in Rwanda.