U.S. Truck Industry backs self-driving trucks

American Trucking Associations calls for tech to be supported

autonomous truck

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has called on the U.S. government not to stifle the testing and development of self-driving (or autonomous) trucks.

The President and CEO of the power industry association, Chris Spear, has testified before a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and said the government shouldn’t stifle the technology.

Related: Tesla pushing ahead with autonomous, electric truck

And he wants uniform national rules of the road for automated vehicles – both cars and trucks.

“While some people use the terms ‘autonomous’ and ‘driverless’ interchangeably, ATA believes the world of automated vehicles will still have an important role for drivers,”

“Just as pilots play a key role in our airline industry, truck drivers will do the same on the ground by leveraging the benefits of automated technology while navigating the cityscapes and handling the customer pickups and deliveries.”

Those comments come just days after Deloitte CEO, Cathy Engelbert, also reassured drivers that self-driving trucks didn’t necessarily mean the end of their career (check out that story here).

Mr. Spear also said that this is a critical time in the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

“There are many questions to be answered – including those about cybersecurity, about the impact on trucking operations and how vehicles will interact with one another, and about infrastructure.

“What is clear is that those questions should be answered for commercial and passenger vehicles at the same time.”

While the ATA chief also called on lawmakers to approve self-driving truck trials on U.S. roads.

“Federal agencies and state governments must commit to supporting innovation for both commercial and passenger vehicles, using existing regulatory exemptions to allow manufacturers and technology companies to test and develop new systems.”

Related: Volvo testing autonomous refuse truck

We will keep you updated as further details come to hand.

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