A newly launched U.S. Department of Transportation initiative focused on emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles and bullet trains is a positive step in advancing long-term plans to modernize U.S. transportation infrastructure, but it’s unclear how the group’s intended goals will play out in practice, experts say.
Ravi Mohan, an intellectual property partner with Rutan & Tucker LLP and co-chair of the firm’s automotive practice group told Law360 the move could be a significant boost in modernizing U.S. transportation infrastructure, but there are still unanswered questions surrounding the council’s directive and what will be put into practice.
He said, “Transportation projects have long been bogged down by layers of bureaucracy, so throwing another interdepartmental liaison into the mix to get projects from thought to implementation might end up being an impediment rather than something that would grease the wheels for innovation.”
“The DOT is an organization that’s slow,” said Mohan. “Their focus is on compliance rather than forward-looking implementation, so the question is how is that going to be implemented? But it’s a huge positive to at least have a group and it shows the DOT does care, but there’s always the question of, is this going to be a potential bottleneck?”