With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is leading a workshop that aims to bring together a diverse group of participants engaged in Human-Technology Frontier (HTF) projects to share their experiences on to the Effect of Autonomous Trucks on the U.S. Economy. This workshop will identify the most critical unanswered questions as well as potential solutions related to the effects autonomous trucks will have on the U.S. economy and, more specifically, how autonomous trucks will affect the current and future truck workforce.
Attendees will include a combination of invited participants and a diverse range of academics and stakeholders who will be selected based upon Position Statements (described below). Some selected participants will be offered a stipend to offset travel and lodging expenses; however, this will be minimal. Attendees should propose their Position Statement with the intention there will be no travel support. Position Statements with multiple authors are welcome, especially those representing a multidisciplinary, collaborative team, but the number of invited participants and travel support may be limited based on space and available funds.
Participants will be drawn primarily from the following disciplines engineers, computer scientists, regulators, truck drivers, truck management, economists, educators, lawyers, insurers, psychologists, and sociologists. Those who have unique perspectives on the unanswered questions or data needed to support future models are encouraged to submit a Position Statement, including engineering challenges in developing automated trucks and associated infrastructure; licensure and regulations; liability, privacy, and cyber security; education and training; and economics.
Dr. Hickman is a Group Leader at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. His primary areas of research include community-wide (large scale) applications of behavior-based safety, self-management, and organizational culture change techniques as well as assessing driver behavior, fatigue, work/rest cycles, and driver distraction in commercial motor vehicle operations. Dr. Hickman has been the PI, Co-PI, or Project Manager on 36 research projects (totaling over $16 million). Dr. Hickman has over 100 professional presentations and 60 scientific publications and technical reports.
NSF Introduction, purpose of workshop, and workshop ground rules.
Session 1: Autonomous truck implementation scenarios and the role of the driver. The mission of this panel will be to discuss the unanswered questions and research opportunities regarding the time horizon for the full deployment of autonomous trucks as well as how and where drivers will be needed over this time horizon (from first deployment to full deployment) as drivers remain in the loop. This sets the envelope for the rest of the workshop.
Session 2: Regulatory/insurance perspectives on autonomous trucks. The mission of this panel will be to discuss the unanswered questions and research opportunities regarding the regulatory, insurance, and legal perspectives in the deployment of autonomous trucks (i.e., discuss how the role of each of these entities might change with the deployment of autonomous trucks).
Lunch at NSF Cafeteria
Session 3: Industry views on use of autonomous trucks in the end-to-end delivery system. The mission of this panel will be to discuss industry perspectives on the unanswered questions and research opportunities regarding the role of autonomous trucks in the delivery of goods and how the industry will adopt this technology. How does the industry view uses within what is technically and legally possible, what do they need to know better prior to deployment, etc?
Session 4: Trucking impact on US economy/driver demand. The mission of this panel will be to discuss the unanswered questions and research opportunities regarding how autonomous trucks will impact the US economy and driver demand. This panel will also discuss the interaction between autonomous trucks and infrastructure needs and what data are needed to test their theories.
Day 1 Wrap
Day 1 Review
Session 5, Part 1 Convergence of autonomous trucks and human labor – enhancing the driver-truck interface and understanding skill requirements. The mission of this panel will be to discuss the unanswered questions and research opportunities regarding how autonomous trucks will converge with human truck drivers, including the role of the truck driver, how driver-truck interfaces can be better designed, and the skills needed for this integration.
Session 6, Part 2: Convergence of autonomous trucks and human labor – job skills training/re-training challenges and strategies. The mission of this panel will be to discuss the unanswered questions and research opportunities regarding how autonomous trucks will converge with human truck drivers, including, challenges and strategies in training/re-training skills, how to overcome these challenges, and what strategies will enable drivers to actively contribute to the trucking system.
Final Wrap and Thank You
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