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Summarizing The Success Of 40 Years Of Deregulation In Air And Freight Transportation

Summarizing The Success Of 40 Years Of Deregulation In Air And Freight Transportation

In 1980 Democrats held the presidency and both houses of Congress. The 96th Congress marked a generation in which both the Senate and House had stayed blue. However, the economy overall had suffered the drawbacks of some 90 years of misguided industrial regulation and central planning from both parties. Moreover, Americans suffered from stagflation (prolonged stagnation and inflation), gasoline shortages brought on by a fickle foreign oil supply, limited options for transportation, and limited consumer goods, which were expensive to ship.  A growing bipartisan, academic and policy consensus documented that regulatory control entrenched the power of incumbent firms, incentivized collusive relationships between regulators and companies, created barriers to entry in the market, and precluded the competition that would incentivize innovation and choice. Congress and the Carter Administration rightly focused on democratizing the benefits of freight rail and air transport networks to help address some of these challenges. The signing of the Staggers Rail Act in 1980 laid important groundwork for the greening of the transportation industry today.

Making Freight Rail Work for Americans, not Bureaucrats

American folklore alludes to the 19th century railroads as justification for regulatory agencies, but the creation of Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in 1887 was partially a product of rent seeking, reflecting the political prioritization of powerful agricultural interests over transport providers, not consumers. Shippers of the time desired political power to ensure preferred rates rather than a competitive bidding process. The subsequent decades saw the decay of America’s railroads, so much so that they were unfit to deliver some supplies to ports during World War II. Many went out of business as the government subsidized highway travel and trucking. It reached

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Drone truck startup Einride unveils new driverless vehicles for autonomous freight hauling

Drone truck startup Einride unveils new driverless vehicles for autonomous freight hauling

Einride, the Swedish autonomous trucking startup, unveiled a new vehicle type that the company hopes to have on the road delivering freight starting in 2021. The vehicles, dubbed Autonomous Electric Transport (AET), came in four different variations. And much like Einride’s previous prototypes, they come without steering wheels, pedals, windshields, and, in general, no cab at all.

Einride has been in the business of releasing interesting, eye-catching prototype vehicles since it was founded in 2016. There was the cab-less T-Pod, released in 2017, four of which are operating on public roads hauling freight for Oatly, the Swedish food producer. A year later, the company unveiled the T-Log, built to be more powerful than its predecessor for the job of (you guessed it) hauling tons of giant tree logs. Now it has a next-generation vehicle that it hopes it can put into production.

Einride’s also been engaged with the less glamorous part of the job, which is testing, validating, and seeking regulatory approval for its vehicles, all of which are electric and can be controlled remotely by a human operator, in addition to operating autonomously without human intervention. The company has yet to reveal its plans for production and manufacturing.

Design-wise, the AET vehicles look almost identical to Einride’s Pod (previously T-Pod) prototype: sleek, white, cab-less pods with smooth lines and an otherworldly feel. Einride CEO Robert Falck said the AET is more aerodynamic than previous iterations, which will help when the company starts to scale up its manufacturing. “When you nail a design the first time, why reinvent the wheel?” Falck said.

The new AET vehicles come in four levels. The first two — AET 1 and AET 2 — have top speeds of 30 km/h (18 mph), weigh 26 tons, have payloads of 16 tons, and a battery range

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