WASHINGTON — Autonomous trucks can offer a "generational opportunity" to not only improve road safety but also bring about far-reaching economic benefits, according to Ariel Wolf, general counsel for the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets.
To advance automation in the trucking industry and beyond, the coalition has been involved in discussions with policymakers at the federal, state and local levels to enable widespread testing and deployment across the U.S.
The coalition — whose members include Aurora, Cruise, Ford Motor Co., Volvo Cars and other companies in the technology, auto and transportation sectors — says a federal framework for automated vehicles, including heavy-duty trucks, is needed to expand testing and deployment options so the full benefits can be realized.
"We want to get this technology out and see it scale, and maintain U.S. leadership in this space," Wolf told Shift.
Staff Reporter Audrey LaForest spoke with Wolf, 38, about the benefits of driverless trucks, especially amid a driver shortage and supply chain crisis. Here are edited excerpts.