PTIO Joins SAFE, BioSTL for a Dialogue on Vehicle Automation and Community Impacts

PTIO Joins SAFE, BioSTL for a Dialogue on Vehicle Automation and Community Impacts

St. Louis, Mo. — Today, the Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity (PTIO) – whose members include American Trucking Associations, Daimler, FedEx, Ford, Lyft, Toyota Motor North America, Uber, and Waymo – joined Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and BioSTL for a town hall-style event, “A Dialogue on Vehicle Automation and Community Impacts” at The MOTO Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.

With the nation approaching near-term deployment of autonomous vehicles (AVs), today’s discussion engaged Midwestern leaders in a dialogue about the full range of the impacts of AVs including: potential for positive safety, economic, and environmental impacts; AV technology; workforce implications; and strategies for managing any adverse impacts.

Soliciting the input of local business, political, and community leaders, the organizations hosted an audience for keynote remarks and a panel presentation, with the following local speakers and panelists:

  • Donn Rubin, President & CEO, BioSTL (speaker)
  • Tom Chulick, President & CEO, St. Louis Regional Chamber (speaker)
  • David Nicklaus, Business Columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (moderator)
  • Jeff Pittman, Chancellor, St. Louis Community College (panelist)
  • Mary Lamie, Executive Director, St. Louis Regional Freightway (panelist)
  • Amitai Bin-Nun, Vice President, Autonomous Vehicles & Mobility Innovation, SAFE (panelist)

“PTIO’s mission is to develop an evidence-based understanding of the opportunities and challenges autonomous vehicles will create for our nation’s workforce, and we believe these conversations should begin in communities like St. Louis where workers are looking for answers and direction,” stated PTIO Executive Director Maureen Westphal. “A successful transition for workers depends on the ability of today’s participants to confront the outstanding questions being raised about our communities’ long-term futures. By bringing together diverse viewpoints, as we did today, we are confident that we can achieve our collective goal of ensuring communities and workers have the opportunity to succeed in our AV future.”

“Self-driving technologies will have an enormously positive impact on our country, our economy, and our society. This is an opportunity too great to ignore and now is the time to prepare and implement policies that will unlock these myriad benefits and mitigate any negative impacts of this technological shift,” said Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of SAFE. “There is a balance we must strike to realize the billions in economic savings from increased travel access and productivity, to reduced congestion and fewer accidents. The more we maximize the economic and productivity benefits while minimizing any potential impacts on job holders, the better off our country and workforce will be.”

“Autonomous vehicles hold the promise of significant benefits in safety, mobility and efficiency, and St. Louis is proud to be at the center of these discussions about vehicle automation and its impact on communities,” said Donn Rubin, the president and CEO of BioSTL. “While our communities will undoubtedly benefit from sustained investment in innovation, a role as a thought leader and convener around cutting-edge technologies can accelerate St. Louis’ resurgence as a national center for innovation — adding to its status as the leader of the industrial Midwest’s innovation-driven resurgence. We are grateful to be at the forefront of this important national discussion on how this new technology might impact communities in the Midwest.”

To watch the program in full, click here.


About the Partnership for Transportation Innovation & Opportunity (PTIO)

The Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity includes leading companies and associations committed to advancing autonomous vehicle technology in ways that improve quality of life and economic opportunity for all Americans. Our mission is to promote open and thorough discourse through a robust educational campaign to determine the opportunities and challenges autonomous vehicles may create for American workers. We will also focus on the role public policy can play in helping our entire workforce benefit from the adoption of autonomous vehicle technology. Together with impacted communities, stakeholders, and policymakers, we will work to address the employment impacts this technology may make. To learn more about PTIO, visit and follow @OurAVFuture on Twitter.

About Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE)

Securing America’s Future Energy is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.

About BioSTL

Since 2001, BioSTL has laid the foundation for St. Louis’ innovation economy with a comprehensive set of transformational programs that advance St. Louis’ leadership in solving important world challenges in agriculture, medicine, health care, and other technology areas. BioSTL has introduced nationally-acclaimed initiatives in startup creation and investment (BioGenerator), strategic business attraction (GlobalSTL), physical environment (including the Cortex Innovation District and BioGenerator Labs), entrepreneur support (BioSTL Fundamentals), seed and venture capital, a diverse and inclusive workforce, and public policy. Find us online and follow us on twitter @BioSTL.