September 8, 2017 2:00 PM, EDT

Senate Panel to Examine Self-Driving Trucks

Daimler Truck Daimler

Trucking executives and industry observers will lead a discussion on self-driving trucks at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Sept. 13.

Scheduled to testify about advancements in autonomous technology will be Navistar Inc. CEO Troy Clarke, American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear, Colorado State Patrol Chief Col. Scott G. Hernandez, Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall and National Safety Council CEO Deborah Hersman.

Self-driving technology for trucks and other large vehicles has emerged as a pivotal issue.

Rep. John Thune (R-S.D.)


At the hearing, policymakers are expected to update stakeholders about pending legislation. Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) is drafting autonomous vehicle policy legislation with Democratic Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida and Gary Peters of Michigan.

“Self-driving technology for trucks and other large vehicles has emerged as a pivotal issue in Congress’ attempt to help usher in a new era of transportation,” Thune said. “This hearing will offer all members of the Commerce committee the opportunity to hear expert testimony on the future highway safety benefits of applying automated technology to trucks as well as perspectives on excluding trucks from legislation affecting passenger cars.”

Manufacturers, as well as state and city officials, have called for guidance on self-driving vehicles with a focus on smart-infrastructure communication. Last year, a self-driving truck from Uber Technologies Inc. hauled Budweiser beer on Interstate 25 in Colorado.