First DOT Automation Committee Meeting Seemed Promising

The U.S. Department of Transportation summoned the mobility dream team yesterday, with members ranging from tech rockstars – like Waymo’s CEO John Krafcik – to policymakers and OEMs, to set the groundwork for its newest Automation Committee.

The committee is intended to serve as an advisory board to the DOT regarding the most pressing and relevant matters facing transportation automation today. Joining forces with different players in the industry will allow the group to provide “invaluable insight” on automated technology and its potential impacts on the society, General Motors CEO and committee Co-Chair Mary Barra said in her remarks.

“This committee will address the issues of automated technology in a number of modes of transportation, including cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes and drones,” she said. “For us, in the auto industry, it is a very exciting time and we believe we are in the midst of more transformation than has occurred in the past 50 years.” Automated vehicle technology, coupled with the advancements in complementary technologies, such as vehicle connectivity and electrification, Barra said, “is already transforming how we get from point A to point B, and has the potential to transform how we live.”  

The committee will also aid the DOT in its research, policy, and regulations — as all three pertain to the development and deployment of automated vehicles.

Road safety, regulation framework, city planning, and impacts of automation on labor were among the most pressing issue that the group will be addressing from the get go.

Other members of the committee include executives from Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, Statefarm, Amazon, Fedex, and even Hyperloop One – a company that has developed a “new” form of transportation, promising to eventually transport (?) riders from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes or less.

The group will meet several times a year, with no set schedule as of now. 

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