I'm married to a fourth generation railroader. That is the only reason why I was at the presentation, being with my wife.
I don't disagree about the economics and efficiency. I think the railroads have it in spades at this point. And yes, mismanagement has been a problem with railroads as well. John Snow was well criticized for his golden parachute when he took over the Treasury for Bush (II) here in CSX Town.
I do disagree about employee turnover. Some of those new drivers are not going to be as experienced as the drivers that they just replaced. I can't see a high turnover rate being anything but detrimental to trucking's efficiency.
Railroads have always been notoriously conservative, let alone risk averse. JIT manufacturing is not kind to railroads.
I do not see designated lanes for autonomous vehicles, commercial or personal. Our freeways are already bursting at the seams, and now when they talk about expanding lanes to handle traffic, they are moving to make those lanes toll lanes to pay for getting them built, certainly here in Florida. I don't see enough traffic from autonomous vehicles to justify that kind of expense. If anything, there is already an argument to be had to force semi trucks and trailers into their own lanes due to some of the accidents that have occurred. But no one actually expects that to happen. It truly becomes the chicken and the egg problem.
Railroads know they need to work better on their logistics. My wife works for a company that sells software to those railroads to do so. In some ways, I'm amazed that they aren't further along in their development, either the software company or the railroads themselves.