US DOT setting up committee for automated transportation

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Fox is seeking nominees for an Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation (ACAT).

The DOT has released a statement saying that the ACAT is to serve as a “critical resource” for the Department in framing federal policy for the “continued development and deployment of automated transportation”.

“This committee will help determine how, when, and where automated technology will transform the way we move,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The Department has advanced some of the life-saving benefits of automated technologies, including automated vehicle policy , but we are looking outside the government for innovative and thoughtful leaders to uncover its full potential across all modes.”

The members of the ACAT will assess the DOT’s current research, policy and regulatory support to advance the safe and effective use of autonomous vehicles. The members will also gather information as well as present recommendations to the Secretary on automated and connected road and transit vehicle technologies, enhanced freight movement technologies, railroad automated technologies, aviation automated navigation systems technologies, unmanned aircraft systems, and advanced technology deployment in surface transportation environments.

Another point is that the DOT has said that ACAT will also be looking at what they term ‘not yet conceived’ innovations to help ensure that the DOT is prepared when newer, disruptive technologies emerge.

The DOT statement also revealed that the ACAT is not a fait accompli – the department is actively looking for people to nominate themselves or other potential members.  The DOT said it is “looking for 15 individuals with cross-modal perspectives on issues like intelligent transportation systems (ITS), robotics, enhanced freight movement, air traffic control next generation technology, and advanced transportation technology deployment”.

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