Researchers with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) played a major role in a Texas A&M School of Law conference dedicated to the future of transportation. Changing Landscape of Transportation: Technology, Data and the Law was held in Fort Worth April 1.
Ginger Goodin, director of TTI’s Transportation Policy Research Center, moderated two sessions of the symposium: Emerging Intersections in Transportation and Automated Controls: Legal and Ethical Concerns.
“Transportation will certainly look different in the next decade with cars and infrastructure talking to each other, not to mention the advent of self-driving cars,” Goodin says. “But legally, there’s a lot to consider. This symposium was so important in advancing the dialogue between those responsible for implementing advanced transportation and those responsible for legislating it. The students organizing the event did an outstanding job of bringing in some of the best legal experts and thought leaders in the country.”
The symposium was organized and hosted by students associated with the Texas A&M Law Review. “With the changing landscape in transportation upon us, this conference highlighted the relevant legal issues going forward,” says Andy Morriss, dean of the Texas A&M School of Law. “The event also demonstrated our growing collaboration with TTI, which will create new insights into the legal concerns at the intersection of technology and transportation.”
Speakers — including industry experts, scholars and policy makers — discussed a variety of legal issues, including privacy concerns, regulatory frameworks and liability.
Allan Rutter, head of TTI’s Freight Mobility Program, also spoke at the symposium. His presentation examined how technology is changing the freight industry. “Technology has certainly changed the way shippers and carriers work together, and freight regulations are changing along with the technologies,” Rutter says.
Rutter is part of a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) team examining the freight technologies in place around the world today. The project is designed to help TxDOT decide which technologies and strategies would be best for Texas.