Governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation Holds Listening Session at UMass Amherst to Discuss Autonomous Vehicles

autonomous vehicle
autonomous vehicle

AMHERST, Mass. – The Governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation is conducting a listening session about autonomous and connected vehicles on Tuesday, May 29 from 1-3 p.m. in the Cape Cod Lounge of the Student Union at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The session is one of five on different transportation topics being explored by the commission.

Each session will have presentations by local experts related to the session topic, followed by an open comment period during which the commission will invite remarks and questions from the public on the session topic or any other topics relating to the future of transportation.

In January, Gov. Charlie Baker established the Commission on the Future of Transportation to advise the Baker-Polito administration on future transportation needs and challenges. Chaired by Baker’s former chief of staff, Steven Kadish, the 18-member commission is exploring anticipated changes in technology, climate, land use and the economy to determine likely impacts on transportation between 2020 and 2040. The commission meets monthly and will provide a report and make recommendations by Dec. 1.

The agenda for May 29 is as follows:

1 p.m. Welcome and introductions 

1:15 p.m. Overview of the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation’s listening sessions

1:30 p.m. Panel discussion on current research and activities related to autonomous and connected vehicles. Panelists will include:

  • Shlomo Zilberstein, computer science, UMass Amherst, “Framing the Future of Automated Vehicles”
  • Shannon Roberts, mechanical and industrial engineering, UMass Amherst, “Human Factor Needs in an Autonomous Vehicle World”
  • Chronis Stamatiadis, civil and environmental engineering, UMass Lowell, “Strategic Planning for Autonomous and Connected Vehicles”
  • Eric Gonzales, civil and environmental engineering, UMass Amherst, “Autonomous Vehicles for Ride Sharing”

Public discussion and the question-and-answer period will follow at 2 p.m. with closing remarks at 3. Written comments may be submitted at the listening session, at the commission’s website at, or via email to future.of.transportation@MassMail.State.MA.US

The event is accessible to people with disabilities and individuals with limited English proficiency. To request reasonable accommodations contact the UMass Transportation Center at 413-545-2604. Such services are provided free. Sessions will be recorded. Attendees will be asked to sign a video release form.

Future listening sessions are planned in Worcester, Dartmouth, Lowell and Boston.

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