MassRobotics was invited on June 10th to the White House for a round table discussion on Automated Vehicle (AV) technology. Paul Schmitt supported the meeting led by representatives from the Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Economic Council. Also in attendance were Martial Hebert, Director Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute (with a rich AV history), Jan Becker from Faraday Future Senior Director Autonomous Vehicles. Additionally two Massachusetts based companies were represented by Karl Iagnemma, the CEO at nuTonomy, and Ryan Chin, the CEO at Optimus Ride.

The objective was to support the development of policy guidance, still at a relatively early stage. The wide range of topics ranged from:

  • Current state of automated vehicle tech
  • Potential benefits to society, cities, and the freight industry
  • Measuring safety and communicating safety to the public
  • Automated vehicle challenges in urban settings
  • Level of driver engagement
  • Benefits of vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communications technology
  • Automated vehicle technology development challenges
  • The need for local development sites
  • Significant research questions
  • Policy frameworks to
    • Communicate safety
    • Encourage development
    • Encourage adoption

For a first-time meeting, Paul Schmitt felt that the discussions were frank and open. The meeting ended with gratitude from the White House representatives for an insightful and productive meeting. They noted that policy discussions are at a relatively early stage and this topic area deserves more in depth study. Additionally, they said they would appreciate help in the future as the policy guidance is developed over the next few months. Going forward, Paul Schmitt remains in contact with the White House staff and looks forward to supporting this effort.


Pictured from left to right: Karl Iagnemma (nuTonomy), Jan Becker (Faraday Future), Paul Schmitt (MassRobotics), J.J. Raynor (White House National Economic Council), Martial Hebert (Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute), Eric Daimler (White House Presidential Innovation Fellow for Robotics). Not shown are Ryan Chin (Optimus Ride) and Austin Brown (White House Office of Science and Technology Policy)