Autonomous TruckingNewsTechnology

Today’s Pickup: Self-driving legislation up for vote today

Good day,

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is expected to unveil self-driving vehicle guidelines next weekat an event in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Reuters reported.

The event follows a vote today by the U.S. House on a bill that would speed deployment of self-driving cars and prevent states from blocking such vehicles. The bill was passed by House panel in July unanimously and would allow automakers to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles in the first year, eventually rising to 100,000 vehicles annually.

“Advancing this technology to road-ready requires government policy that encourages continued testing and development,” House majority leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement Sept. 5. “This formula is the foundation for what makes America the most innovative country in the world.”

It is unclear what Congress will do with autonomous trucks. The legislation does not cover vehicles over 10,000 pounds, according to the Washington Post.

Did you know?

One of the first uses of the word truck was in 1611 to refer to the special heavy duty wheels on the canon carriages of a ship. By 1771, a truck was a cart designed to carry heavy loads.


“Our drivers make much more than $900 per week. We just wanted to take away financial concerns so that drivers can focus on what they do best, drive. We are also eliminating the perceived risk that typically accompanies the start of a job with a new company.”

Dwight Bassett, Boyd Bros. CFO, following announcement that the company would guarantee $900 a week pay as well as 4 cent per mile hike

In other news:

Robots don’t like retail jobs

Many assumed robots would take jobs from workers, but in the retail sector, that doesn’t appear to be happening. (Wall Street Journal)

U.S.-NAFTA trade gains

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that U.S. trade in NAFTA rove 7.7% in June. (Logistics Management)

Daseke acquires R&R Trucking

Flatbed operator Daseke has announced a merger with R&R Trucking, a specialized carrier of defense and commercial arms, ammunition and explosives. (Fleet Owner)

BASF testing blockchain smart pallets

German chemical company BASF is hoping to utilize blockchain and smart pallets to improve visibility in the supply chain. (Supply Chain Quarterly)

Deals for tracking firms increase

As the “Amazon effect” trickles through industry, more companies are looking to acquire tracking firms to follow their shipments. (Supply Chain Brain)

Final Thoughts

As the U.S. House is set to vote today on self-driving legislation that excludes vehicles over 10,000 pounds, it misses an opportunity to open these vehicles to the segment of the population most likely to adopt and use them to the greatest benefit. Hopefully, a Senate committee working on a similar bill will not exclude the commercial population.

Hammer down everyone!

Show More

Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.