US Department of Transportation wants help with automated vehicles
US Department of Transportation wants help with automated vehicles
US Department of Transportation wants help with automated vehicles

US Department of Transportation wants help with automated vehicles

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is looking for experts to join its Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation (ACAT), and advance automated vehicles.

The government department has said it will hire 15 people who will provide it with advice and assistance on driverless and automated vehicle policy. Successful candidates will serve on the committee for two-year terms, with a maximum of two consecutive term reappointments according to ReadWrite.

In particular, DOT is looking for experts that have knowledge of robotics, intelligent transportation systems, enhanced freight movement, air traffic control and advanced transportation technology deployment.

These experts will be tasked with scrutinizing and assessing DOT’s current policy, research and regulatory support to ensure it continues to advance the use of autonomous vehicles in the United States. Members will, therefore, have direct access to the Secretary for briefings on technical advice and policy recommendations.

DOT has said it will instruct the committee to review a number of technologies, including: aviation automated navigation systems technologies, unmanned aircraft systems, automated and connected road and transit vehicle technologies, railroad automated technologies, advanced deployment in surface transportation environments, and enhanced freight movement technologies.

Related: Oxbotica & TSC complete UK’s first driverless car trial

Automated vehicles stay on track

While current policy and technologies will be ACAT’s priority, the committee is also expected to stay on top of, track and prepare DOT for any new and potentially disruptive innovations.

“This committee will help determine how, when, and where automated technology will transform the way we move,” said Anthony Foxx, U.S. transportation secretary. “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.”

This move should be well received by private sector companies, many of which – Google, Apple, Tesla – are already heavily involved with the work to bring driverless cars to the streets.

However, this heavily saturated market is about to become a little bit more so, as BlackBerry has also just announced a partnership with Ford to use its software in automated vehicles.

Ford has spent a lot of time reinventing itself as a technology company, not an automaker, and this deal will advance that by placing BlackBerry’s QNX operating system in Ford vehicles, according to Fortune.

Related: Ford harnesses IoT and Big Data in mobility quest