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Industry Insider: Autonomous Driving Concerns Among the List of Worries Taken to U.S. D.O.T.

A screen shot of a video conference call involving U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (top right), AMA President Rob Dingman (bottom right), AMA Director of Government Relations Mike Sayre (bottom row, second from right), and others. Photo courtesy AMA.

U.S. Gov’t Members Meet with Motorcycle Industry Leaders To Talk Priorities in the Powersports Community

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) have just hashed out a huge meet with the U.S. D.O.T. Secretary and other gov’t department staff. 

The topic? Big concerns about the place of motorcycles on the road proper, as well as safety for two-wheeled riders – especially given the incoming flux of autonomous vehicles in the transportation space

Based on the report from Roadracing World, everything went good – better, even, than they were hoping. 

The meeting was called, naturally, “in a collaborative effort to raise awareness of key issues and opportunities facing the motorcycle industry, riders, and motorcycle safety,” with the move following the new Jobs Act (IIJA). 

The initiation of the Act called for a demand to include motorcyclists – both for drivers’ awareness of the rider one lane over, as well as for the motorcyclist’s own safety. 

A view of a motorcyclist

That move purportedly included a “reauthorization of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) to further inform the D.O.T., National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) about ways to improve infrastructure to make roads safer for the motorcyclist.”

A view of a motorcyclist

One of the biggest worries, though, was “the need to ensure that both recognition and reaction to motorcycles are fully integrated into the developing crash avoidance of autonomous vehicle technologies in order to ensure safety for motorcyclists and drivers.”

Good call, MIC/AMA/MSF – especially considering the resurfaced statistics on driver recognition of motorcyclists in their space (spoiler alert, there’s less recognition than even we thought). 

Autonomous technologies are evolving quicker than the standards can keep up – and we must all make sure that two-wheeled crowds don’t get lost in the shuffle toward a higher-performance future. 

Here are statements from our community members that attended the meet, bless them: 

A view of the American Motorcyclist Association flag

Rob Dingman, president and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA):

“Secretary Buttigieg was very receptive to our concerns regarding autonomous vehicles and the potential dangers they pose to motorcyclists.

The Secretary was familiar with the work of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council, chaired by AMA Director of Government Relations Mike Sayre, and conveyed his intention to reconstitute the MAC as soon as possible.

We are eager to build on the work of the MAC and work with the motorcycling community to implement the MAC’s recommendations to make our roads safer for motorcyclists.

With the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the D.O.T. has been equipped with resources to address decades of infrastructure needs as well as formulate a transportation system for the 21st century.”

Motorcycle Industry Council flag logo

Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC):

“This meeting was a great start to ensuring that the motorcycle community has a seat at the table.

The Department has the tools to improve road infrastructure and design, improve awareness and safety, and ensure evolving automated technologies recognize and react to motorcycles.”

A view fo the motorcycle safety foundation logo

Scott Schloegel, senior vice president of government relations, Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF):

“We are very thankful for Secretary Buttigieg placing a priority on increased safety for the motorcycling community.

We look forward to working closely with him and his teams at NHTSA and FHWA as they work to reduce traffic deaths through education and awareness as well as improved infrastructure and technologies.”

We will keep you updated on any other news that comes down the pipeline on this topic; in the meantime, be sure to drop a comment letting us know what you think, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.

*Media sourced from Roadracing World, AMA, PRNewswire, MotorSports Newswire, Musgrave Law Offices, Georgian College, and YouTube*