Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021:
DOT seeks public input on upcoming DOT Strategic Plan
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced a request for comments, asking the public to help shape the department’s goals and priorities as it works to transform the nation’s transportation system making it safer, more accessible, more reliable, and multi-modal.
DOT says it seeks to accomplish the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals by updating its Strategic Framework with the help of stakeholders, including the American public. The Strategic Framework will help to guide all of DOT’s work, including its implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law over its five-year timeline.
The request for comments provides the public an opportunity to consider and offer input to the draft DOT Strategic Framework as DOT develops its Fiscal Year 2022-2026 DOT Strategic Plan.
The draft DOT Strategic Framework reflects the Secretary's priorities for achieving DOT's mission through six strategic goals – safety, economic strength and global competitiveness, equity, climate and sustainability, transformation, and organizational excellence.
Specifically, DOT is asking for the public to weigh in on the following five questions:
- What strategies or priorities should DOT adopt to achieve the Department’s strategic goals and objectives?
- How should DOT measure progress towards those priorities?
- What emerging challenges or opportunities in transportation warrant additional DOT activities or investments?
- How can DOT best coordinate its activities with federal, state, local, tribal, labor, private sector, academic, non-profit, international and other partners?
- How can DOT best utilize additional programs and authorities in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to accomplish the goals laid out in the strategic plan?
The public comment period is open here through Dec. 17.
Pennsylvania third-party CDL examiner charged with fraud
A third-party CDL examiner in Pennsylvania has been charged with wire fraud in connection with an alleged CDL scheme.
According to the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Roberto Correas, while employed as a CDL program supervisor, allegedly provided pre-signed CDL skills exam score sheets to a co-conspirator, knowing the co-conspirator would complete the sheets with passing scores for drivers who did not actually take the test to fraudulently qualify them for CDLs.
Correas also allegedly conducted CDL skills tests for a company, and applicants paid $275 for each exam. Correas did not submit those payments to the company and kept the money, OIG says.
AI Fleet raises $21M in funding
AI Fleet, a tech-first trucking carrier, has announced a $21 million Series A round led by Obvious Ventures. Participating investors included Compound, Ibex Investors, and Tom Williams.
Launched in 2020, AI Fleet is working to tackle inefficiencies in trucking, including driver utilization and driver turnover.
Based in Austin, TX, AI Fleet is a carbon-neutral carrier with one of the highest utilization metrics in the industry. The funding will be used to scale its operation, expand driver benefits, and further the company’s sustainability efforts.
“The ‘driver shortage’ is only a symptom of the low utilization across the industry,” said Marc El Khoury, CEO, AI Fleet. “We are building a new kind of trucking company, one where drivers are proud to work and where technology reduces inefficiencies and powers innovation.”
AI Fleet is powered by advanced tech and data science, with a proprietary algorithm at the center of its operations. The company is also unique in its driver-centric focus, offering a guaranteed salary with extensive benefits.