Momentum: Issue #46

May 26, 2020

Keep on Truckin’: Keep the Economy Moving

By Shailen Bhatt, President and CEO, ITS America 

Most of you know that I ran the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) before coming to ITS America. We created many public-private partnerships at CDOT and made great advances through deploying technology throughout the state. One of the projects that many people remember happened in 2016, when CDOT, in conjunction with Otto and Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, teamed up to deliver the world’s first autonomous commercial delivery by a truck. Today, most people know and refer to it as just “The Beer Run,” but the collaboration was a harbinger of the impact that technology would have on freight.

Today, several states are allowing automated truck follower platooning – and ITS America member Peloton gets a nice shout-out in this Forbes column. The deployment of this and other technologies, as well as the preservation of the 5.9 GHz safety spectrum, will allow for greater safety and efficiency of our supply chain. In addition, the improved aerodynamics of platooning can reduce drag by 10 percent and lessen negative climate impacts.

Freight is a critical component of the U.S. transportation system. Last week, I had a great conversation with Chris Spear, President & CEO of the American Trucking Associations about these and other topics. If you haven’t checked it out on our social media channels, here it is.

In ‘normal’ years, many of us would likely have gathered with family and friends this past Memorial Day weekend – to remember our fallen veterans and perhaps toast the beginning of summer. Perhaps this year, we kept those traditions but limited them to family or socially distanced outside with a few friends.  Whatever food and drinks we consumed, they probably came on a truck. Please take a moment to thank the heroes in your communities – particularly the thousands of brave men and women who keep our economy moving.