Automation, Vehicle Connectivity & Platooning
Co-Chair: Rahul Mangharam, Penn Director, DoT Mobility21 National University Transportation Center
This panel will discuss the implementation and commercialization of automation and platooning technologies (by analyzing the technological feasibility, use cases and deployments, and the regulatory environment). Industry experts will identify pain points with unmanned truck development and testing and analyze near-term solutions. This panel will also examine different levels of autonomy and geographical locations of deployment.
Electrification & Fueling Future Freight
Co-Chair: Mike Roeth, Executive Director, North American Council for Freight Efficiency
We are in the midst of an explosion of technologies aimed at efficiency and alternative power sources, including natural gas, which have made the shift from diesel easier for the industry to envision. This panel will explore the challenges from the basic power needs of trucks to uncertainty about the return on investment in new technology to distribution systems for new fuels.
Financing Interstate 2.0
Co-Chair: Paolo Pezzotta, President, Integrated Transport Planning, Inc.
- Andrew Alden, Executive Director (Interstate 81 Corridor Coalition), Group Leader (Eco-Transportation and Alternative Technologies), Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
We explore financing scenarios of AV-enabled systems that are gradually introduced within existing driver fleet operations and alternatively, establishing a separate operations platform for high-speed dedicated lanes. This panel will answer questions on Who will own and operate these new lanes: government or the private sector or some PPP framework? What are financial models for leasing capacity and the implications of ownership on overall economic output and the distribution of financial gains.
Digitization in Logistics and Supply Chain
Co-Chair: John Paul MacDuffie, Director, Wharton's Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation
Supply chain (SC) management received early investment in technologies such as ERP to streamline transactions, improve warehouse management, and sharpen analytics -- but largely within existing silos. The next wave of digitalization aims to integrate the entire supply chain by linking cross-functional data from internal and external sources; providing transparency (with real-time updates) into inventory, shipments, and scheduling for all SC participants; and applying machine learning to both problem-solving and forecasting. New digital applications promise more seamless integration via a new emergent ecosystem that links large industrial companies with sophisticated logistics providers and tech start-ups. Barriers to progress are often organizational since new approaches to sharing data and collaborating with SC partners are needed to take advantage of new capabilities. Trucking is an early adopter of digital technologies but also has a long way to go before the potential of digitalization is reached.
Logistics of the Last Mile
Co-Chairs: Erick Guerra, Professor, University of Pennsylvania (School of Design); Mike Carroll, Deputy Managing Director, oTIS
Digitization and vehicle automation present specific opportunities and challenges for last mile trucking. As automation reduces the cost of long-haul trucking, how will the process of moving goods from distribution warehouses to final destinations change? What are the implications for labor practices and public policy? Increases in package delivery are already putting a strain on existing city infrastructure. In Philadelphia and elsewhere, delivery trucks and vans regularly block parking spaces and travel lanes to unload goods. As more companies begin to outsource food and parcel deliveries to private entrepreneurs, what are the emerging opportunities and policy challenges for last-mile trucking and delivery?
Employment & Environmental Impacts
Co-Chairs: Steve Viscelli, Senior Fellow, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, University of Pennsylvania; Jean Tyrell, Project Manager, Amerigas
The trucking industry is not only the primary mover of goods in the US but also a major employer and thus critical to the economic health of the nation. Trucks, like all vehicles on public roads, are involved congestion and accidents that affect quality of life and can result in significant costs in terms of injuries and deaths. This panel will explore the potential for making the industry safer, more efficient and a better place to work with a range of stakeholders including policymakers, labor and environmental groups.