January 7, 2020 2:30 PM, EST

Public Comment Period for USDOT Technology Council Ends Jan. 10

U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters in WashingtonU.S. Department of Transportation

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The public has until Jan. 10 to offer feedback to the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding its Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology Council.

The department is asking the public to focus its input on matters related to performance requirements, innovation, federal rulemaking, cross-sector or cross-modal transportation safety regulations and technical support.

As USDOT explained, “The Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology Council was formed to provide project sponsors a single point of access to the department to discuss innovative transportation plans and proposals, to coordinate oversight of such projects, and to develop and establish departmentwide processes, solutions and best practices for managing new transportation technology subject to the department’s jurisdiction.”

The department indicated in the Federal Register input about automated vehicles or unmanned aerial systems is not what officials want to receive pertaining to the NETT Council at this time.

The council recently earned praise from the leaders of the congressional transportation committees. Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, as well as Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman and ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, reached out to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to express support for the effort to embrace innovative ideas.

“Businesses cannot innovate if the regulatory frameworks in place are unworkable for prompt and safe testing and implementation of new technology, particularly if such innovations could lead to changes that improve the safety and efficiency of travel for people and goods,” the lawmakers wrote Dec. 9. “We appreciate the thoughtful approach to addressing oversight gaps for emerging technologies taken to date, and urge you to continue to advance the process upon receiving stakeholder input from the public comment period.”

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