With the election behind us, the newly-elected President and Congress have entered 2017 with a renewed emphasis on unifying around smart policies that will increase economic opportunity across the country and spur innovation. One area of opportunity for policymakers to act on in the year ahead, is through the development of a safer, greener, and more efficient transportation system.
Over the past two decades, technology has increased efficiencies across all aspects of our lives, revolutionizing our daily behaviors and simultaneously making our world a safer, greener and a more enjoyable place to be.
Take the rise of e-commerce, for example. This month alone almost 7 out of every ten Americans will buy a product online from the comfort of their own home. Long gone are the days of stopping at four or five stores to complete your Saturday errands. For households with two working parents, single mothers and fathers, college students working to pay for textbooks, mid-career professionals spending nights studying to advance their career, senior citizens, disabled individuals, or those living in rural areas, the ease of shopping for clothes, food, home goods, and more from a laptop or mobile phone means access and freedoms that would otherwise be difficult.
The same innovations that revolutionized shopping for goods also have the ability to revolutionize the way we move them – making transportation safer, more efficient and greener. The private sector continues to make investments in new technologies, upgrading fleet technology and continually training operators, to ensure our transportation system is as efficient, as sustainable, and as safe as possible. Innovative solutions like collision mitigation systems that engage in the event of dangerous roadway obstructions, blind spot notifications and emergency braking systems that can act autonomously to prevent accidents are the way of the future and will help to ensure the safest roadways possible.
However, we need the same forward-looking effort from our partners in federal and state governments so all Americans can harness the full potential of a modern transportation system. One that is above all else –increasingly safe, environmentally sustainable, and technologically advanced. Common sense policies, like allowing the use of twin-33 foot trailers, will dramatically reduce the number of trucks on the road – saving 204 million gallons of fuel and reducing highway crashes every year.
Over the coming weeks and months, our diverse coalition of business and industry groups is coming together to encourage policymakers to prioritize safety, sustainability and efficiency as they consider how to best address the nation’s transportation needs. Leveraging the most cutting edge technologies through a joint effort between the private sector and government will catapult our transportation network into the 21st century and spur the much needed economic growth policymakers and their constituents have been seeking.