The Board of Directors of the American Trucking Associations unanimously approved the federation’s first-ever policy for the development of automated trucks. The announcement came October 24 during ATA’s Management Conference & Exhibition in Orlando FL.
“Over the past year, ATA has been active in this debate, advocating for recognition of the importance of the trucking industry when it comes to the development of automated vehicles,” ATA President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Spear said. “The adoption of this policy gives a clear direction about what our industry will expect and require as policymakers establish a comprehensive framework for automated vehicles.”
“Automated and connected vehicle technologies have the potential to dramatically impact nearly all aspects of the trucking industry. These technologies can bring benefits in the areas of safety, environment, productivity, efficiency, and driver health and wellness,” the introduction to the 21-point policy states. “Automated driving technology is the next step in the evolution of the safety technology currently available, and will help to further improve driver safety and productivity, as well as the safety of other motorists and road users. Automated technology comes in many levels that will assist the driver and in some cases, handle the driving task. The application of automated and connected vehicle technology in the trucking industry will center on solutions in which there remains a role for drivers, recognizing the duties and requirements drivers have beyond operating the vehicle.”
ATA’s new policy covers a variety of topics including safety, the roles of the federal and state governments, uniformity across state lines, infrastructure and education.
“ATA has always been at the leading edge of developments in the trucking industry, and now with this policy in hand, we are poised to continue leading this industry into a more automated future,” said ATA Chairman Dave Manning, president of TCW Inc. “I’d like to thank all the ATA staff and members who worked diligently in crafting this foundational document and look forward to the challenge of using it to advocate on behalf of our industry.”