ATRI board approves top research priorities for 2021

ATRI board approves top research priorities for 2021
In addition to recruiting younger drivers for interstate transport and researching the decriminalization of marijuana and other drugs in the trucking industry, the American Transportation Research Institute’s topics for 2021 include quantifying the impacts of driver-facing cameras and zero emission trucks.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) Board of Directors has approved the 2021 Top Research Priorities as identified by the Research Advisory Committee (RAC). ATRI’s RAC developed the list of recommended research topics at its meeting held in Atlanta May 4-5, and the ATRI Board reviewed and approved the list of recommended topics at its recent meeting.


ATRI’s RAC selected research topics that examine workforce, infrastructure, legal, and operational issues, which align with multiple top concerns identified in ATRI’s annual Top Industry Issues Survey. Because of the heightened attention on electric vehicles, two of the top priority studies will examine the impact of the deployment of electric trucks on the trucking industry.

The 2021 ATRI Top Research Priorities include:

Understanding how to best integrate 18- to 20-year-olds into the trucking industry: This research will utilize a case-study approach to document best practices for recruiting, training and retaining younger people into trucking careers.

Charging infrastructure considerations for electric trucks: From examining power demand scenarios to availability of grid connectivity and vehicle charging requirements, this research will be a trucking industry-focused assessment that identifies the electrical infrastructure issues associated with deploying electric trucks.

Marijuana and other drugs: This study focuses on the impacts of the decriminalization of marijuana and other substances on the trucking industry. As more states move to decriminalize marijuana and other drugs, this study would update ATRI’s 2019 report by examining roadway safety and workforce impacts in those states changing their controlled substance laws.

Quantifying the impacts of driver-facing cameras on fleets and drivers: This analysis will focus on safety, litigation and workforce impacts from deployment of driver-facing cameras.

Understanding the environmental impacts of zero-emission trucks: This research will be a comparative environmental impact study of the full lifecycle — manufacturing, operations and disposal — of electric versus diesel Class 8 trucks.

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