Gov. Hutchinson brings leaders together to advance mobility commerce in Arkansas

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 985 views 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday (Feb. 22) announced through an executive order the formation of the Arkansas Council on Future Mobility, while hosting an event at the Governor’s mansion to highlight aspects of the burgeoning industry.

The goal of the council is to be sure that Arkansas is prepared for electrification, autonomous vehicles, and advanced air mobility and to create an environment in which they will thrive.

The governor has tasked the council with identifying state laws and regulations that create a barrier to the advancement of electrification and advanced mobility in the state.

Secondly, the council will make recommendations to policy programs that will support and facilitate the advancement of electrification and advanced mobility. They will also work to develop priorities and recommendations to secure federal resources and funding for these areas of future mobility.

Additionally, education and workforce training will be important for the council to examine what the needs are to encourage and provide the workforce for advanced mobility, the governor said.

Hutchinson is asking for the council to work quickly and have a report back to him by the end of November.

The council will consist of private sector leaders and government leaders.

Cyrus Sigari, co-founder of Up Partners will be the committee chair.

“We are at the early days of a new world as it relates to the next generation of mobility technology that will allow us to move people and goods cleaner, faster, safer, and at a lower cost. In the air, on the ground, in the sea and space,” Sigari said.

Other committee members include:

  • Dean Banks – Former CEO of Tyson Foods
  • Tom Ward – Walmart Chief eCommerce Officer
  • Craig Harper – Executive VP J.B. Hunt
  • Dr. Alan Mantooth – Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Arkansas
  • Tony Aquila – Canoo CEO
  • Chad Causey – Executive Director of Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance
  • John Bethel – Entergy
  • Daryl Brown – Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator
  • Becky Keogh – Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment
  • Lorie Tudor – Director of Arkansas Department of Transportation
  • Mike Preston – Arkansas Secretary of Commerce
  • Jami Cook – Director of Public Safety
  • Ted Thomas – Chairman Arkansas Public Service Commission
  • Dr. Jason Morrison – Chancellor at Arkansas Southern University
  • Hunter Bale – Former chair of the Arkansas Automobile Association
  • Shannon Newton – Arkansas Trucking Association

The governor said others may be added to the list.

“Arkansas can see the future. We want to be a part of it and we want to lead in it and that is in future mobility,” Hutchinson said.