U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing entitled, “Transportation of Tomorrow: Emerging Technologies That Will Move America,” at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 13, 2018. The hearing will examine emerging technologies across the transportation sector that have the potential to improve the safety and efficiency of transportation and will explore federal policy opportunities to encourage private sector innovation.
“Our transportation systems must innovate to keep pace with the demands of our growing economy,” said Thune. “Bringing in innovative transportation leaders as witnesses will offers members of our committee an opportunity to ask questions about and assess the potential of technologies beyond the horizon of Congress’ immediate consideration.”
- Ms. Tina Quigley, General Manager, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada
- Mr. Josh Raycroft, Director Business Strategy, Virgin Hyperloop One
- Mr. Davis Sanford, Campaigns Lead, Naval Ship Intelligence & Technologies, Rolls-Royce Marine North America
- Ms. Laurie Tolson, Chief Digital Officer, GE Transportation
Thursday, September 13, 2018
This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.
Chairman John Thune
This nation built the Erie Canal, the Transcontinental Railroad, the Wright 1903 Flyer, and the Interstate Highway System. These advancements made America’s transportation system the envy of the world and unlocked enormous opportunities for Americans: they created jobs and new sources of wealth; opened markets; connected rural areas to urban areas and the coasts to the heartland; improved the efficiency and safety of the movement people and goods, and gave American businesses a significant advantage over economic competitors.
More recently, however, our transportation system has struggled to keep pace with the growing demands of a dynamic economy. Freight movement is expected to double over the next few decades, the growth of e-commerce continues to present new opportunities and challenges, and competition from foreign countries is strong.
Meanwhile, our roadways are increasingly congested as Americans spend too many hours stuck in traffic, at a cost of over $160 billion per year in wasted time, fuel, and vehicle wear-and-tear, and transportation connections in many areas—including rural areas—are hindered by deteriorating infrastructure conditions.
While there is a real need for robust investment, the transportation sector also needs innovative solutions to enhance the safety and efficiency of our system.
It is essential that the private and public sectors work together to prepare for the future and promote technologies that will improve the ways in which people and goods get to and from their destinations, including urban and rural areas.
Technology has the potential to make it easier to get to work, get our groceries, plan our businesses, or pick-up our kids or grandkids. Technological changes and innovation may transform all aspects of our transportation network—from vehicles and equipment to the underlying infrastructure to the logistics software that helps connect us.
Our Committee has been active this Congress on automated vehicles, next-generation telecom, unmanned aircraft systems or drones, and other emerging technology issues.
Senator Peters and I have been advancing our AV START Act to facilitate the safe development of automated vehicles, which will help save lives, improve mobility for all Americans–including those with disabilities—and create new jobs by maintaining U.S. leadership in this important technology.
With the passage of MOBILE NOW, my work with Senator Schatz on the STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act, and the Committee’s related work on 5G spectrum, we are also working to maintain American leadership in next-generation communications technology—a position China and others seek for themselves.
In addition, this Committee has included several provisions in the Senate FAA bill that will help promote drone technologies while addressing safety and privacy issues and improving enforcement and federal oversight of drone operations.
Of course, there are many other forms of technology within the Committee’s jurisdiction that will transform how we do business. An important role of this Committee is to hold these types of hearings to better inform Congress and the public on emerging technologies in areas under our purview.
While we do not always know which technology will succeed, or what the technological maturation process will look like or mean for our everyday lives, it is critical that Congress engage with innovators and ensure Federal policy supports, and does not hold back, American ingenuity.
I expect this hearing will examine how emerging transportation technologies will fit within federal regulatory, financing, and permitting policies. It will help answer an ongoing question – how should the Federal government best engage in the transportation of tomorrow?
Answering these questions can help ensure our transportation system keeps pace with a dynamic economy and is the envy of the world.
This morning, we will be hearing from a distinguished panel of witnesses on new and exciting areas in transportation that will transform the way people and goods move in the 21st century. I look forward to all of your testimonies.
Witness Panel 1
Ms. Tina QuigleyGeneral Manager, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada
Mr. Josh RaycroftDirector Business Strategy, Virgin Hyperloop One
Mr. Davis SanfordCampaigns Lead, Naval Ship Intelligence & Technologies, Rolls-Royce Marine North America
Ms. Laurie TolsonChief Digital Officer, GE Transportation