Policy Studies Artificial Intelligence

Regulating Rail Technology

Key Points

Allowing railroad regulation on matters of automation to progress alongside regulation of car and truck automation is vital to improving American infrastructure over time.
Computer-based track inspection will improve train safety by allowing rails to be inspected more regularly without shutting down segments of track.
The vitality of American commerce could be better protected if legislators affirm that federal regulators, not states, have sole authority to set minimum railroad staffing levels.

The Commerce Clause and the judgements that enforced federal preeminence over interstate trade in goods gave us a national single market in long-distance transportation. Powerful incentives for states to take from the whole to make some of their own better have been reined in by Congress’ periodic reassertion that it, not the states, decides when enough is enough.

Press release: What’s Up and Coming in Railway Safety Technology

Image credit:  Markik

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