Submission to the U.S. Department of Transportation on Automation in the Railroad Industry

Mr. Peter Cipriano
Special Assistant to the Administrator
U.S. Department of Transportation
Docket Operations, M-30

Re: Docket Number FRA-2018-0027

Dear Mr. Cipriano:

On behalf of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) I am pleased to submit the accompanying ITIF report in response to the Federal Railroad Administration’s Request for Information on Automation in the Railroad Industry (Docket Number FRA-2018-0027) published March 29, 2018. ITIF was recently recognized as the world’s leading think tank for science and technology policy.

The report, “How Regulatory Reform Can Advance Automation in the Freight Transportation Sector,” looks at advances in automation in several freight industries, including railroads. It argues that automation on balance can deliver strong benefits to society in the form of lower costs and increased safety. It calls for regulators to encourage the development of this new technology while still protecting public safety and suggests a set of principles for regulators to follow.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit this report.

Sincerely yours,

Robert D. Atkinson
President and Founder
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation