Posted by Secretary Elaine L. Chao
For many it’s clear that spring has sprung when the cherry blossoms emerge or the car is covered in pollen. At DOT, no matter the temperature outside, you know it’s spring when the crowds arrive for the Washington Nationals’ first home game of the season. For some of us in the Executive Branch, spring is near when your congressional oversight committees call wanting to schedule hearings. For me, it’s also when I make reservations to go home for the Kentucky Derby. In any event, at long last it is spring!
One of our most enjoyable events recently was DOT’s Women’s History Month Celebration, which showcased DOT’s top women leaders and included students interested in transportation careers. I’m really proud that we have so many outstanding women at DOT in leadership positions and coming up through the ranks. At that event, I announced that DOT is launching a new mentoring program for DOT employees that will help build the next generation of leaders in transportation. By the way, the idea for the mentoring program came from an audience member during last year’s Women’s History Month celebration.
It was also a pleasure to participate in annual awards ceremonies for some of DOT’s modes. On March 8, 212 FTA colleagues received special recognition, 24 received individual awards and 11 team awards were made. Thanks to everyone at FTA who works hard to keep public transportation safe and reliable! On April 18, 64 OST-M colleagues received special recognition, five individual awards were presented and four teams were lauded. OST-M’s work is critical to keep the Department running smoothly so kudos to everyone contributing to that effort! On April 19, 103 NHTSA colleagues received special recognition for helping to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce vehicle-related crashes. 26 were also recognized for individual awards and another 77 for their work with award-winning teams. Every person travelling on America’s roadways benefits from the dedicated efforts of our NHTSA colleagues!
Among the important matters NHTSA is working on these days is autonomous vehicle technology. NHTSA’s Automated Driving Systems (ADS) 2.0 guidance issued on September 12, 2017 has been one of DOT’s most-viewed policy documents. It was downloaded over 125,000 times in just the first six months. On March 1, DOT hosted a Public Listening Summit on Automated Vehicle Policy, with senior USDOT leadership, state and local partners, safety advocates, industry and academia. The event focused on key cross-modal issues that are important to the safe integration of automated vehicles into our nation’s surface transportation system. ADS 3.0 will have an expanded scope and is slated for release this summer. It will be multimodal, and include various surface transportation systems, such as mass transit, rail, and trucking.
Thanks to all at DOT who are working every day on behalf of the American people!