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Chris Clark to co-chair self-driving vehicles council

Council will study opportunities autonomous tech could bring to Minnesota

By: | March 7, 2018 9:18 pm

Driverless vehicles may seem like science fiction but they could soon become a reality in Minnesota.

Gov. Dayton recently appointed Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, to the state’s Advisory Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles to prepare for that future.

This 15-member advisory council will study the opportunities that widespread adoption of automated and connected vehicles could bring to Minnesota. Governor Dayton issued an executive order March 7 to establish this council. Clark took part in a press conference Wednesday morning at the State Capitol announcing the council that also included the Department of Transportation demonstrating an automated shuttle bus.

“It’s an honor to be named to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles,” said Clark. “The way we get around town is evolving, with improving technology, declining costs and new business models driving the future of transportation. Automated vehicles present tremendous opportunities for the state of Minnesota and I look forward to working with our many public and private partners to maximize the benefits that they offer.”

Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle will co-chair the advisory council with Clark. The council will consist of 15 appointees with relevant experience in finance, transit, higher education, workforce training, insurance, automotive industry, advocacy, freight, labor and public safety.

The council will recommend policy changes in such areas as transportation infrastructure and network, cyber security and data privacy standards and vehicle registration, driver training, licensing, insurance and traffic regulation.

The council will also look at promotion of economic development, business opportunities and workforce preparation and accessibility and equity for all Minnesotans. The council will submit its recommendations to the governor and legislature by Dec. 1, 2018.

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