Foxx announces new Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation


US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced that he will establish an Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation (ACAT), which will serve as a critical resource for the Department in framing federal policy for the continued development and deployment of automated transportation.

The members of the new ACAT forum will assess the USDOT’s current research, policy and regulatory support to advance the safe and effective use of autonomous vehicles. They will also engage in information gathering, develop technical advice, and 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, unmanned aircraft systems, and advanced technology deployment in surface transportation environments. In particular, the ACAT will perform these activities as they may relate to emerging or ‘not-yet-conceived’ innovations to ensure the Department is prepared when disruptive technologies emerge.

The USDOT is looking for innovators and experts, both from government and industry, to join the new multimodal committee, which it hopes will help shape the future of automated transportation technologies, and their development and eventual deployment. The Department is seeking 15 individuals with cross-modal perspectives on issues such as ITS, robotics, enhanced freight movement, air traffic control next-generation technology, and advanced transportation technology deployment.

The committee members will serve two-year terms, with no more than two consecutive term reappointments. The Department strives to select individuals with in-depth knowledge of their respective industries or government sectors. Members will be nominated through a full and open process published in the Federal Register.

“This committee will help determine how, when and where automated technology will transform the way we move,” explained 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.”

Last month, the USDOT issued its eagerly awaited federal policy for automated vehicles, laying out a path for the safe testing and deployment of new automotive technologies, which it hopes will have enormous potential for improving safety on the country’s roads, while offering its citizens new mobility options. NHTSA’s (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) Federal Automated Vehicle Policy sets out a proactive approach to providing safety assurance and facilitating innovation for the new technologies. It gives clear expectations for manufacturers, developers and other organizations, and includes a 15-point Safety Assessment for the safe design, development, testing and deployment of automated vehicles.

Individuals interested in nominating themselves or other potential members for the committee should send materials to:

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).