- Alexei Oreskovic
In the latest sign that Apple has long-term ambition to break into the transportation industry and self-driving cars, one of its top officials has joined a new Department of Transportation committee.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, and a former Obama administration official, will join a new federal committee that advises on transportation automation.
She’s not the only tech titan on the committee, either. She’ll be joined by John Krafcik, the CEO of Alphabet’s self-driving project Waymo, as well as officials from Uber, Amazon, Zoox, Lyft, and Hyperloop One.
The committee will be co-chaired by Mary Barra, the General Motors CEO.
The committee will hold its first meeting next week and will “immediately begin work on some of the most pressing and relevant matters facing transportation today, including the development and deployment of automated vehicles, and determining the needs of the Department as it continues with its relevant research, policy, and regulations.”
As technology develops, automation may play a larger role in a number of modes of transportation, including cars, buses, trains, planes, and UAS (drone) systems. This committee will play a critical role in sharing best practices, challenges, and opportunities in automation, and will open lines of communication so stakeholders can learn and adapt based on feedback from each other.
In December, Apple sent a comment to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirming its work in self-driving cars. It currently has a team of about 1000 working on “Project Titan,” according to reports, although it may be working on the underlying technology and software instead of manufacturing its own car.
Here’s the complete list of committee members:
Co-Chair: Mary Barra- General Motors, Chairman and CEO Co-Chair: Eric Garcetti- Mayor of Los Angeles, CA Vice Chair: Dr. J. Chris Gerdes- Stanford University, Professor of Engineering Gloria Boyland- FedEx, Corporate Vice President, Operations & Service Support Robin Chase- Zipcar; Buzzcar; Veniam, Co-founder of Zipcar and Veniam Douglas Chey- Hyperloop One, Senior Vice President of Systems Development Henry Claypool- Community Living Policy Center, Policy Director Mick Cornett- Mayor of Oklahoma City, OK Mary “Missy” Cummings- Duke University, Director, Humans and Autonomy Lab, Pratt School of Engineering Dean Garfield- Information Technology Industry Council, President and CEO Mary Gustanski- Delphi Automotive, Vice President of Engineering & Program Management Debbie Hersman- National Safety Council, President and CEO Rachel Holt- Uber, Regional General Manager, United States and Canada Lisa Jackson- Apple, Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives Tim Kentley-Klay- Zoox, Co-founder and CEO John Krafcik- Waymo, CEO Gerry Murphy- Amazon, Senior Corporate Counsel, Aviation Robert Reich- University of California, Berkeley, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy Keller Rinaudo- Zipline International, CEO Chris Spear- American Trucking Association (ATA), President and CEO Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger- Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., Founder and CEO Bryant Walker Smith- University of South Carolina, Assistant Professor, School of Law and (by courtesy) School of Engineering Jack Weekes- State Farm Insurance, Operations Vice President, Innovation Team Ed Wytkind- President, Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO John Zimmer- Lyft, Co-founder and President