Transportation Secretary Nominee Pete Buttigieg Promotes Emerging Tech for Infrastructure Policies

By Luke Bellos January 25, 2021

Former Mayor of South Bend, IN Pete Buttigieg will likely be confirmed as Transportation Secretary of the Biden Administration, and he recently made statements about his plan to address emerging technologies with the US Department of Transportation.

During his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Buutigieg made comments about autonomous vehicle regulation, federal support for electric vehicles, and the numerous issues currently facing modern transportation. President Biden plans to introduce a infrastructure package to assist with the pandemic economic recovery, and Buttigieg has commented that the package is a "generational opportunity to transform and improve America's infrastructure."

While Buttigieg was Mayor of South Bend, he pushed for redesigned streets and roadways that would enable more efficient traffic flow. As Transportation Secretary, Buttigieg plans to incorporate similar ideas for USDOT.

"There are so many ways that people get around, and often we've had an auto-centric view that has forgotten historically about all the other different modes," Buttigieg said. "We want to make sure any time we're doing a street design, that it enables cars and bicycles and pedestrians and businesses and any other mode to coexist in a positive way. We should be putting funding behind that."

Autonomous vehicles have also been key points of discussion for the US Department of Transportation. Lawmakers have had concerns about safety regulations for self-driving cars, and Buttigieg has commented on USDOT’s responsibility to take notice of new technological developments.

"Automated vehicle technology is coming; it's advancing very quickly," he said. "It is something that holds the potential to be transformative and I think in many ways policy has not kept up."

Along with AV, electric vehicles and hyperloop systems have been notable travel methods in conversations about the future of transportation. These technologies are advancing at incredibly fast rates, and Buttigieg has made it clear that his leadership will embrace these developments and ensure proper regulations.

"Technology is being developed, industry is advancing, and we have to make sure the regulatory framework keeps up, both that it keeps up in terms of securing our safety and other goals, and that it keeps up in terms of making sure that these new technologies can flourish in a safe way,"

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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Editor, IoTevolutionworld

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