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Policy changes on horizon for autonomous and electric trucks

ACT Research’s Ann Rundle expects new rules to affect hours of service, roadside inspections

Rundle discusses upcoming policy affecting AV/EV market.

This fireside chat recap is from FreightWaves’ second Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Summit, which took place Wednesday.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Policy implications for electric and autonomous vehicles.

DETAILS: Federal and state policy makers are preparing to roll out rules and guidelines governing autonomous vehicles, and Congress recently approved new climate legislation. Both will have cost and market implications for truck fleets and drivers. In this fireside chat, ACT Research’s Ann Rundle provides an update.

SPEAKER: Ann Rundle, vice president for electrification and autonomy at ACT Research.

BIO: Rundle left Eaton Corporation after 20 years to join a small research and development startup focused on advanced lithium-ion battery technologies. She transitioned into independent consulting projects focused on developing growth strategies for new technologies, primarily in industrial and commercial vehicle markets. Rundle most recently was with Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (now Stellantis), leading their global strategy and planning for electrified vehicles including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric and fuel cells for automotive and commercial vehicle applications.


“Do the multiple hours where trucks operating on autonomous systems on a stretch of interstate count on a driver’s hours-of-service [requirements]? I would expect to see the FMCSA [Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration] taking a look at that and figure out how that might change.”

“Instead of having to be inspected at the roadside, there will likely be a way for an automated truck to wirelessly communicate back the truck’s operating conditions.”

“The $40,000 tax incentives [in the Inflation Reduction Act] that apply to electric medium and heavy-duty trucks extend through 2032. By that time, we would expect that through technology improvements those [electric vehicle] costs are going to come down. So that $40,000 becomes a larger chunk of the cost.”

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John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.