Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced the members of the agency’s Advisory Committee on Automation.

The committee will discuss the development and deployment of automated vehicles, and determine their research, policy, and regulation needs.

“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,” said Foxx. “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.”

Foxx announced that he was searching for potential committee members in October.

The DOT found that the population will increase by 70 million people by 2045, which will result in a 40 percent increase in freight volume. The committee will be a mode of communication in order to determine the best practices, challenges, and opportunities in automation.

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, will co-chair the committee.

“GM is committed to the belief that self-driving vehicles will provide tremendous benefits to society in terms of safety, convenience and quality of life and we look forward to being part of this important effort,” General Motors said in a statement.

Chris Spear, president and CEO of American Trucking Associations, was named to the committee and said that he looks forward to talking about the role that trucks have in the future of automation.

“It is imperative that trucking and this association have a seat at the table when it comes to issues like autonomous vehicles, and we will be driving that outcome,” Spear said. “While large-scale use of autonomous trucks is years away, the policy framework that will govern this future is being debated and ultimately written today, and I look forward to vigorously participating in those discussions on behalf of the trucking industry.”

Mick Cornett, mayor of Oklahoma City, plans to represent the local government’s perspective on autonomous vehicles during the committee’s meetings.

“Mayor Cornett has made the issue of autonomous vehicles and what they mean for city planning and transit a focal point for his term as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors,” said Steve Hill, Cornett’s chief of staff. “He believes cities–which will be dramatically affected by this disruptive technology–need to have a seat at the table with the private sector as this conversation continues.”

Rachel Holt, Uber’s regional general manager for the United States and Canada, was named to the committee.

“We’re hopeful that adding Uber’s unique perspective to this important discussion will not only help advance self-driving technology but also ride-sharing in the U.S.,” Holt said.
A full list of the committee members is located on the DOT’s website.
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Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.