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Consumer Reports’ Kelly Funkhouser appointed to U.S. Department of Transportation’s new advisory committee for transportation innovation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kelly Funkhouser, who serves as Associate Director, Vehicle Technology at Consumer Reports, has been selected to serve on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s new advisory committee, which will provide advice to DOT and the Secretary of Transportation about plans and approaches for transportation innovation.

The 27 members of the Transforming Transportation Advisory Committee (TTAC) represent a wide array of organizations and institutions, including academia, think tanks, the public sector, labor, and industry.  The members bring expertise on topics such as vehicle automation, cybersecurity, safety, accessibility, law, government, entrepreneurship, privacy, equity, and other issues.

Funkhouser said, “It’s an honor to be asked to serve on this advisory committee, and we appreciate that DOT has provided a seat at the table for consumers.  The transportation technologies of today and tomorrow promise many benefits, and they also raise many questions about issues like safety, sustainability, and privacy.  We buy vehicles anonymously and put them through more than 50 unique evaluations, and we drive thousands of miles for road testing every year. We’re excited to be able to bring that perspective and hands-on experience to this committee.  With the wealth of information and direct feedback we get from consumers, plus the years we’ve spent advocating for pro-consumer policies, we want to ensure that the voices of consumers are heard.”

The first TTAC meeting will be held on January 18.  DOT said the committee will explore and consider issues related to:

  • Pathways to safe, secure, equitable, environmentally friendly and accessible deployments of emerging technologies

  • Integrated approaches to promote greater cross-modal integration of emerging technologies, in particular applications to deploy automation

  • Policies that encourage innovation to grow and support a safe and productive U.S. workforce, as well as foster economic competitiveness and job quality

  • Approaches and frameworks that encourage the secure exchange and sharing of transformative transportation data, including technologies and infrastructure, across the public and private sectors that can guide core policy decisions across DOT’s strategic goals

  • Ways the Department can identify and elevate cybersecurity solutions and protect privacy across transportation systems and infrastructure

  • Other emerging issues, topics, and technologies



Contact: David Butler, david.butler@consumer.org