— Caleb Diehl is a staff writer at Oregon Business Magazine. This is his first story for BikePortland.
Despite recent news of an autonomous vehicle crash in Tempe, Arizona, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s task force on autonomous vehicles is driving forward.
The group will hold its first meeting on April 18. Among the 27 members appointed by ODOT Director Matthew Garrett you’ll find members of the trucking, taxicab and automotive industries.
You won’t, however, find anyone from an organization that advocates for biking and walking.
ODOT spokesperson Sarah Kelber said she couldn’t comment on the makeup of the task force, which is outlined in HB 4063, the bill that created it. The language of the legislation doesn’t leave much wiggle room for choosing appointees. But it does mandate that one member come from a nonprofit, which could have opened the door for an advocate of vulnerable road users. The Street Trust’s Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky said his organization was notified too late in the process to take part.