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Moving America Forward: Next Generation of Truck Freight Transport Summit

October 24, 2018

Wednesday, October 24 | 9:00 AM - Thursday, October 25 | 5:00 PM EDT
Singh Center for Nanotechnology

This event, curated by the PRECISE Center at the University of Pennsylvania, will feature prominent speakers from industry and academia in the goods movement market. They will discuss the challenges and opportunities in implementing and commercializing trucking technologies (including self-driving systems, alternative fuels and power trains, digitization, and structural changes) in the short-term horizon. We will also explore the evolving freight transportation market and share pilot studies of a new operating model and platform for dedicated, high-speed lanes.

Target Audience: Truck OEM | Tech Developer | Toll Road Developer | Online Retailer | Investment Banker | Shipper | Logistics Operator | Academia | Government Official | Transportation Regulator

Keynote Speakers:

  • Raymond P. Martinez, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • Leslie Richards, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Download the Flyer (PDF) | Download the press release (PDF)


October 24

Session 1 – Digitization in Logistics and Supply Chain (24 Oct)


  • John Paul MacDuffie, Director, Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation
  • Steve Burks, Professor, University of Minnesota Morris & PI, Truckers & Turnover Project


  1. Jeff Short, Senior Research Associate, American Transportation Research Institute
  2. Bill Driegert, Head of Operations, Uber Freight
  3. Don Thornton, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, DAT – “Evolution of Technology in the Broker Spot Market”

Supply chain (SC) management received early investment in technologies such as ERP to streamline transactions, improve warehouse management, and sharpen analytics — but largely within existing silos. The next wave of digitalization aims to integrate the entire supply chain by linking cross-functional data from internal and external sources; providing transparency (with real-time updates) into inventory, shipments, and scheduling for all SC participants; and applying machine learning to both problem-solving and forecasting. New digital applications promise more seamless integration via a new emergent ecosystem that links large industrial companies with sophisticated logistics providers and tech start-ups. Barriers to progress are often organizational since new approaches to sharing data and collaborating with SC partners are needed to take advantage of new capabilities. Trucking is an early adopter of digital technologies but also has a long way to go before the potential of digitalization is reached.

Session 2 – The Next Generation of Freight and the Truck Driver


  • Steve Viscelli, Senior Fellow, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jean Tyrell, Workforce Health Consultant, AmeriGas Propane


  1. Steve Viscelli, Senior Fellow, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, University of Pennsylvania – “Autonomous Trucks and the Future of the American Trucker”
  2. Cassandra Ogren, Deputy Director of Research, International Brotherhood of Teamsters – “The Employment Relationship and Emerging Trends in Freight Delivery”
  3. Allan I. Pack, John Miclot Professor, University of Pennsylvania – “Fatigue and Safety, how do we improve?”
  4. Michael H. Belzer, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Wayne State University – “Overtired, Overworked, and Underpaid: How Competitive Pressure Leads to Safety Problems and What to Do About It?”
  5. Jean A. Tyrell, Workforce Health Consultant, AmeriGas Propane – “Awake at the Wheel”

The trucking industry is not only the primary mover of goods in the US but also a major employer and thus critical to the economic health of the nation. Trucks, like all vehicles on public roads, are involved congestion and accidents that affect quality of life and can result in significant costs in terms of injuries and deaths. This panel will explore the potential for making the industry safer, more efficient and a better place to work with a range of stakeholders including policymakers, labor and environmental groups.

Session 3 – Financing Interstate 2.0


  • Paolo Pezzotta, President, Integrated Transport Planning, Inc. [paper]
  • Jim Mullen, Chief Counsel, US Department of Transportation


  1. Paolo Pezzotta, President, Integrated Transport Planning, Inc. – “Interstate 2.0”
  2. Andrew Alden, Executive Director (Interstate 81 Corridor Coalition), Group Leader (Eco-Transportation and Alternative Technologies), Virginia Tech Transportation Institute – “Future Transportation – How Automation and Intelligent Systems Will Impact the Movement of People and Goods”
  3. Skip Yeakel, Volvo Group North America – “Automation development in HD Trucks”
  4. Matthew W. Daus, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP – “Socio-Economic Impacts of AV Freight”
  5. Jim Mullen, Chief Counsel, US Department of Transportation

We explore financing scenarios of AV-enabled systems that are gradually introduced within existing driver fleet operations and alternatively, establishing a separate operations platform for high-speed dedicated lanes. This panel will answer questions on Who will own and operate these new lanes: government or the private sector or some PPP framework? What are financial models for leasing capacity and the implications of ownership on overall economic output and the distribution of financial gains.

October 25

Session 4 – Electrification & Fueling Future Freight


  • Mike Roeth, Executive Director, North American Council for Freight Efficiency


  1. James O’Leary, Sr. Fleet Manager, NFI​
  2. Mike Roeth, Executive Director, North American Council for Freight Efficiency – “NACFE Guidance on Commercial Battery Electric Trucks”
  3. Alex Potter, Senior Research Analyst, Piper Jaffray – “Exploring the Role of Investors in Bringing Electric Trucks to Market”
  4. Mike Wiley, Sr. Economic Development Specialist, PECO – “Utility Perspective on Electrification”
  5. Venkat Viswanathan, CMU

We are in the midst of an explosion of technologies aimed at efficiency and alternative power sources, including natural gas, which have made the shift from diesel easier for the industry to envision.  This panel will explore the challenges from the basic power needs of trucks to uncertainty about the return on investment in new technology to distribution systems for new fuels.

Session 5 – Automation, Vehicle Connectivity & Platooning


  • Jeff Hickman, Research Scientist, Virginia Tech
  • Steve Boyd, Co-founder & VP External Affairs, Peloton Technology


  1. Steve Rush, Carbon Express​​​ – “Where will the autonomous vehicles work and where will they not work?”
  2. Alden Woodrow, Ike
  3. ____________, Peloton Technology
  4. Brent Hankins, PACCAR

This panel will discuss the implementation and commercialization of automation and platooning technologies (by analyzing the technological feasibility, use cases and deployments, and the regulatory environment). Industry experts will identify pain points with unmanned truck development and testing and analyze near-term solutions. This panel will also examine different levels of autonomy and geographical locations of deployment.

Session 6 – Logistics of the Last Mile


  • Erick Guerra, Professor, University of Pennsylvania (School of Design)
  • Mike Carroll, Deputy Managing Director, oTIS


  1. Michael McDonald, Corporate Automotive Engineering, Sr. Director Maintenance & Engineering, Sustainability & Government Affair, UPS – “Looking to the Future”
  2. Frank Layo & Sivakumar Ganapathi, Kurt Salmon (Accenture Strategy) – “Impacts & Opportunities on Retail”
  3. Mike Carroll, Deputy Managing Director, oTIS – “Management Challenges & Opportunities”

Digitization and vehicle automation present specific opportunities and challenges for last mile trucking. As automation reduces the cost of long-haul trucking, how will the process of moving goods from distribution warehouses to final destinations change? What are the implications for labor practices and public policy? Increases in package delivery are already putting a strain on existing city infrastructure. In Philadelphia and elsewhere, delivery trucks and vans regularly block parking spaces and travel lanes to unload goods. As more companies begin to outsource food and parcel deliveries to private entrepreneurs, what are the emerging opportunities and policy challenges for last-mile trucking and delivery?



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