On January 26, 2024, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joined Safety21 Director Raj Rajkumar for a discussion on the future of transportation and a Q&A with students, which included topics such as safety and equity, artificial intelligence, aviation, and his experiences as the U.S. DoT Secretary.
Shubham Goel, a research assistant for Safety21, asked how DOT was integrating AI technologies to enhance transportation systems in the United States, and how student organizations could become involved.
Jason Gomes, a biotechnology student at the Community College of Allegheny County, a Safety21 collaborator, asked Buttigieg about the space industry’s contribution to terrestrial transportation advancements, and how Pittsburgh can play a role.
Lindsay Graff, a doctoral student studying civil engineering at CMU who previously worked for Delta Airlines, asked Buttigieg about steps being taken by the Federal Aviation Administration to maintain proper safety regulations despite lobbying pressure.
“I think this is a place that really gets the relationship between cool, interesting ideas and technologies, and the why of it all,” Buttigieg said. “The reason why transportation technologies — any technologies — matter, isn’t that they’re cool. Although most of us I think are nerds who just think they’re intrinsically cool. But it’s the why of it, and how they make us safer, and how they help us address issues like equity and climate.”
Watch the full session here.
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