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December 2016

Keeping up with Advancements

Jean Shiomoto

As motor vehicle directors, administrators and commissioners, we are seeing the changing landscape of transportation with emerging technology from autonomous vehicles, apps you can use to request a ride from a transportation network company, a road user charge program and a pilot to address the decline in the gas tax, and the development of mobile driver’s licenses. We also face many challenges in keeping up with the technological advancements and significant shifts in business models. As both regulators and stakeholders, we have a vested interest in all of these areas.

Many times as a regulator we are asked not just to “level the playing field” among the traditional industry members and the newcomers to the industry, but also to remove unnecessary barriers or regulations. We are being asked to look at new business models for licensure and enforcement to level that playing field, too.

AAMVA continues to lead in these areas with the Autonomous Vehicle Working Group and the Motor Carrier Working Group, as both of these groups are exploring emerging transportation issues to provide guidance for the jurisdictions. Their work in the coming year will provide the jurisdictions with information on a model state policy as manufacturers introduce autonomous vehicle technology across the states, and they will help jurisdictions navigate the impact of transportation network companies. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of their work, and we will provide updates at regional meetings.

Many directors, administrators and commissioners are heads of motor vehicle agencies—some are within a transportation department, some are within a revenue department and some are within a Secretary of State office—but we all face the same challenges and emerging issues. What will the transportation landscape look like, and how prepared are we? We know how people get to work and from place to place today, but have we given thought to what it will look like in the next five to 10 years? The expectation is that the transportation technological advancements will reduce traffic congestion, prevent crashes, prevent distracted driving and prevent pedestrian injuries. As leaders and representatives of our respective agencies, we need to prepare for what the future holds, as there has never been a time before when transportation is changing so rapidly. Just recently, at the 2016 AAMVA Annual International Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, a representative from General Motors who was a panelist in the Autonomous Vehicles breakout session said, “The auto industry will change more in the next 10–15 years than it has in the last 50 years.” What is your jurisdiction’s strategic plan for the future of transportation? Let’s start thinking about this together! 

Jean Shiomoto

2016–2017 AAMVA Chair of the Board