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The Daily Dash: Stopping the federal excise tax; drivers sounding off; and humans driving autonomous vehicles forward

A group opposing the federal excise tax on new trucks is ramping up pressure on Congress to include a provision in the new pandemic relief bill suspending the 12% tax. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Daily Dash is a quick look at what is happening in the freight ecosystem. In today’s edition, a group opposed to the federal excise tax (FET) on trucks and trailers is pushing to include a suspension of the tax in the latest pandemic relief bill. Plus, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals honors Matthew Waller, drivers speak their mind, and humans hold the key to autonomous vehicles.

Get rid of that tax!

The push to eliminate the FET, which can add tens of thousands of dollars to the price of a new tractor, is continuing as groups opposed to the FET push to have a suspension of the tax included in the next pandemic relief bill.

John Kingston has more on why some believe repealing the FET is a good idea: Group seeking to suspend excise tax on truck purchases pushes on in stimulus negotiations

Mr. Supply Chain

Many in the logistics space might know Matthew Waller, but they may not understand the full impact the dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas has had on the supply chain. Waller is being honored for his contributions with the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ Distinguished Service Award.

Brian Straight talks with Waller on his career and thoughts on receiving the award: CSCMP Distinguished Service Award winner: The story of Matthew Waller

What’s on drivers’ minds?

The latest survey from Workhound on drivers’ deepest thoughts finds that most drivers believe their fleets did a good job communicating with and supporting them during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s not all they had to say.

Alan Adler has more on what drivers are most concerned about: Drivers say fleets stepped up during COVID-19

Building public trust

Executives from autonomous vehicle maker Waymo said the “human factor” is the key to bringing self-driving vehicles to roadways. That includes the focus and efforts of those behind the scenes, as well as efforts to build public trust in the technology.

Linda Baker has more on the secrets to autonomous success: Waymo: Human factor key to unlocking AV safety, public trust

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Did you miss this?

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven more Americans to choose home delivery. Robots are part of the equation, and Amazon has unleashed its Scout sidewalk delivery robot onto the streets of Franklin, Tennessee, and Atlanta. The six-wheeled vehicle operates autonomously, following set delivery routes. A human “ambassador” follows the vehicle.

Linda Baker explains how Scout works: Amazon delivery robots head south

Hammer down, everyone.

Brian Straight

Managing Editor

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand 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. You can reach him at [email protected].