Researchers seek truckers for workshop on economic impact of autonomous trucks

April 25, 2018

Land Line Staff


Truckers have been hearing a lot of chatter about autonomous vehicles the past several years. Drivers now have the opportunity to contribute to that conversation. The National Science Foundation and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute are seeking truck drivers and other autonomous truck stakeholders for a workshop on June 28-29 in Alexandria, Va.

The Effect of Autonomous Trucks on the U.S. Economy workshop aims to answer questions regarding how autonomous trucks will affect the truck workforce and other economic-related effects of the technology.

The National Science Foundation and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute are accepting position statements from potential participants. Statements addressing the goals of the workshop should be one page with one-inch margins, have12-point type, and be single spaced.

Position statements should convey prior experience and/or future plans for research collaborations with autonomous truck stakeholders. Specifically, position statements should focus on models for collaboration and/or research descriptions. Previous experience with autonomous trucks is not required.

The following questions may be considered when submitting a statement:

  • What are the optimum strategies and techniques to address the effects of autonomous truck deployment on the U.S. economy through the strategic bundling of various theoretical concepts?
  • What are the most critical questions as well as potential solutions related to the effects that autonomous trucks will have on the U.S. economy?
  • How will autonomous trucks affect the current and future truck workforce?
  • Identify the questions that need to be addressed as well as potential solutions related to the social and economic effects of autonomous trucks.
  • How and where drivers will be needed over the time horizon for deployment of autonomous trucks?
  • What are the unanswered questions regarding the regulatory, insurance, and legal perspectives in the deployment of autonomous trucks?

Proposed workshop panel topics include these:

  • Deployment horizon of autonomous trucks
  • Regulatory/insurance perspectives on autonomous trucks
  • Industry views on use of autonomous trucks
  • Trucking impact on U.S. economy/driver demand
  • Convergence of autonomous trucks and human labor, job skills training/re-training challenges, and strategies

Position statements can be sent to Jeff Hickman, group leader at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, at Statements should be sent as a PDF attachment with “Convergence HTF Autonomous Trucks Workshop: Position Statement” in the subject line. Submissions are due by April 30.

In addition to truck drivers, the workshop is also looking for engineers, computer scientists, regulators, truck management, economists, educators, lawyers, insurers, psychologists and sociologists to give their two cents on the subject.

For more information, send an email to Dr. Hickman or visit