When we conducted our first public opinion survey last spring on attitudes toward automated vehicles, one trend cut across nearly all the data: many of the respondents could tell us how they felt about their own potential use of an AV, but they struggled to assess the broader social impacts the technology might have. That makes a lot of sense, as it’s hard enough to understand the technology itself without having to also think about how it interacts with all the complexities of our fast-moving society.
But empowering the public to help shape the broader impacts of this technology is central to PAVE’s educational mission, so we’re turning to a series of important topics over the coming month. From the intersection of geography and technology, to impacts on infrastructure, the environment and workforce development, the next month of PAVE weekly virtual panels is thinking big. We hope you will join us, as our lineup of experts and insiders share their views on how AVs will shape, and be shaped by, the pillars of our society, economy and planet.
PAVE’s regular look at how different regions are adopting AVs turns to Texas, where autonomous logistics have been booming over the last year. We are joined by Darran Anderson, the Texas Department of Transportation’s Director of Strategy and Innovation, who explains what the state has done to stimulate the recent boom in autonomous trucking and delivery pilots. Providing the AV developer perspective are representatives from Kodiak Robotics and TuSimple, autonomous trucking companies with operations in Texas. Bridging the gap between private and public sectors is Richard Bishop of Bishop Consulting, who works with DOTs and developers to facilitate AV deployments and who has been deeply involved with the autonomous trucking boom across the USA and overseas.
- Darran Anderson — Director of Strategy and Innovation, Texas DOT
- Richard Bishop — Principal, Bishop Consulting
- Robert Brown — Senior Director of External Affairs, TuSimple
- Dan Goff — Head of Policy, Kodiak Robotics
A frequent question about a future with autonomous vehicles centers not on the vehicles themselves but on the wider environment: what infrastructure improvements could assist autonomous vehicles?
As the Federal Highway Administration considers changes to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, we thought it was a good time to look at the relationship between AVs and infrastructure. We have assembled experts from the public and private sectors to discuss what infrastructure needs for autonomous vehicles might be and what communities are doing to prepare.
- Avery Ash — Head of Autonomous Mobility, INRIX
- Robert Dingess — President, Mercer Strategic Alliance
- Michele Mueller — Sr. Project Manager Connected and Automated Vehicles, Michigan DOT
Like all technologies, AVs will be what we make of them. For Earth Day, we examine the role that AVs could play in improving sustainability, and what it takes to ensure that this technology represents a positive step forward for the environment.
We have assembled a panel of experts from industry, nonprofits, and academia who will help us explore this topic, answering questions such as: What are the costs of our current transportation system, and how can innovation drive better outcomes? What are the potential environmental benefits of automation? And can we drive positive environmental outcomes by creating zero-emissions, zero-driver self-driving fleets?
- Nathaniel Horadam — Managing Consultant and Automated Vehicle Specialist, Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE)
- Nico Larco — Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, University of Oregon
- David Rubin — Public Policy Manager, Cruise
Technological innovation can create new jobs and workforce opportunities, but at the same time it can eliminate the need for some positions. We close out the month of April by looking at the challenges and opportunities that autonomous vehicles create for workforce development and some of the ways that government and industry are working to maximize employment opportunities in this developing sector.
Our guests, from both public and private sector entities, will share diverse perspectives and help us to explore the issue of AVs’ impact on the workforce.
- Michael Fleming — Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Torc Robotics
- Alex Hutkin — Director of Government Relations, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE)
- Lindsey Teel — Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)