Sean Slone

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CSG convened the Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Policy Academy June 12-14, 2017 in Detroit. A group of state policymakers from around the country attended the event. The academy included a panel discussion on the benefits and challenges that may be part of the autonomous and connected vehicle future. Attendees heard from former National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland, AAA director of state relations Jennifer Ryan, Alliance for Transportation Innovation co-founder Ralph Menzano and Paul Lewis, vice president for policy and finance at the Eno Center for Transportation.

CSG convened the Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Policy Academy June 12-14, 2017 in Detroit. A group of state policymakers from around the country attended the event. The academy included a panel looking at research, technology and testing of autonomous and connected vehicles. Speakers included Hideki Hada, executive engineer for electronics systems at Toyota, Michelle Chaka of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and Steve Boyd of Peloton Technology.

State policymakers from around the country attended the CSG Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Policy Academy June 12-14, 2017 in Detroit. Attendees heard from representatives of the automotive industry, university researchers, state department of transportation officials and others about how states are preparing for the autonomous and connected vehicle future. This page provides an archive of resources from the academy and links to further reading.

While infrastructure investment was a major focus of Infrastructure Week 2017 activities in Washington, D.C., transportation stakeholders were also busy examining the profound effect autonomous and connected vehicles could have in a variety of areas in the decades to come. At two forums, one on May 16 and the other on May 19, much of the discussion was about the roles federal, state, local and regional policymakers should play in regulating and shaping these technologies so that society can benefit from their potential and mitigate some of their more negative consequences.

Congress approved legislation in 2012 known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, that not only provided two years of funding for transportation programs and a variety of policy changes after nearly three years of short-term extensions but also set in motion a process that continues today, even after minor tweaks were made in 2015’s five-year Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST, Act. States and planning organizations have been working with the Federal Highway Administration, or FHWA, to implement a performance-based approach to the federal highway program.

Last December, I compiled my annual list of the states to watch on transportation funding. Last month we followed that up with a CSG eCademy webinar featuring Alison Premo Black of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association and reporters from three key states. With legislative sessions well underway in many places, it’s time to see where things stand in the debates about transportation funding going on around the country.

Issue: States are seeking to change how transportation projects are selected by making project selection less political, determining which ones could have the best return on investment, factoring in long-term costs and reconsidering some long-planned projects that may no longer make sense in the modern age. Increasingly facing limited resources, they likely will need to do more of that in the future.

Issue: After years of saying they were still years away, autonomous vehicles and other technologies are here—or nearly here (at least to some degree). Uber has a fleet of autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh. Uber’s self-driving truck company, Otto, recently delivered a truck full of beer in Colorado. So now the question becomes how will state governments respond and how will they need to respond? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued guidelines last summer for states to consider in drafting autonomous vehicle legislation. But in trying to encourage the development of these technologies and perhaps reap an economic windfall, states will need to guard against doing more harm than good through legislation and regulation.

Issue: During the campaign, Donald Trump called for a $1 trillion package to invest in the nation’s infrastructure. But the devil likely will be in the details for both Republicans and Democrats when it comes to funding the plan and deciding what to fund. Beyond any one-time infrastructure investment in 2017 though, will Congress be able to hit the ground running so they can be ready when it comes time to reauthorize the FAST Act transportation authorization bill in 2020?

Issue: The 2016 election saw the passage of ballot measures to enable new transit investments in Atlanta, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Seattle. But in Washington, D.C. and other cities, years of neglect of transit systems are burdening public officials with funding, safety and service challenges. Meanwhile, ride-hailing services are continuing to evolve to fill increasingly essential roles. As governments look to provide and enable all these mobility options, how do they ensure that successful communities are built around transit, that housing remains affordable and that those communities work for all their residents?

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