Updated Oct 6, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on our autonomous future

On Wednesday, October 6, Axios transportation correspondent Joann Muller discussed how the autonomous vehicle industry is preparing for commercial deployment, expanding accessibility and impacting the critical movement of goods, featuring Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and John Deere chief technology officer Jahmy Hindman

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers explained her hopes for an AV national framework, America’s opportunity to be a leader in AV innovation, and what regulation of assisted driving technologies could eventually look like.     

  • On a lack of congressional preparedness for AV deployment: “I believe that it’s a missed opportunity right now as Congress is debating infrastructure packages as this technology is ready. I believe in order for America to lead and win this race around autonomous vehicles, which is certainly a priority for me, that we should be moving right now to provide that national framework for autonomous vehicles.”
  • On the industrial significance of AV technology: “You think about the transformation that’s going to take place. We are going to move to driverless cars, it is our future. It may be as big as when we move from horse and buggy to the first Model T Ford back when, but this is going to be transformative and America needs to be leading.”

Jahmy Hindman detailed the history of automated technology use in tractors, why automation is especially helpful for the farming industry, and the importance of monitoring the quality of automated machines’ output. 

  • On historical applications of automation in farming: “Twenty years ago we introduced satellite guidance on our machines. Today, it might surprise some people, tractors, combines and sprayers in our agricultural applications largely drive themselves through the field based upon that satellite guidance signal that they’re receiving.”
  • On how autonomy helps offset labor shortages: “Autonomy presents us the opportunity to sort of decouple labor from the machine usage from actually getting the work done within the farm and to reduce their dependency upon what is becoming an increasingly scarce resource, the labor that they need in order to perform the work that they do.”

Axios Chief Business Officer Fabricio Drumond hosted a View from the Top segment with Aurora CEO and co-founder Chris Urmson, who explained how the autonomous vehicle industry is preparing for deployment. 

  • “From day one, we’ve engaged it at the federal level and the state level to help educate about where Aurora is going, what this technology means, why it’s important, what the challenges are, so that as this becomes a commercial product and out there operating at scales, people aren’t surprised and we can be thoughtful about the U.S. approach to regulation and engagement in the industry.”

Thank you Aurora for sponsoring this event.

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