The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Plans for the Future of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

The USDOT has released a new plan for ITS research and priorities for the second half of the decade. The new ITS Strategic Plan 2015-2019 outlines the direction and goals of the Department’s ITS Program and provides a framework around which the ITS Joint Program Office and other Department agencies will conduct research, development, and adoption activities to achieve them.

The ITS Strategic Plan’s framework is built around two key ITS Program priorities—realizing connected vehicle implementation and advancing automation.

  • Realizing Connected Vehicle Implementation: Builds on the substantial progress made in recent years around design, testing, and planning for deployment of connected vehicles across the nation.
  • Advancing Automation: Shapes the ITS Program around the research, development, and adoption of automation-related technologies as they emerge.

The priorities reflect stakeholder feedback on the need for the ITS Program not only to conduct research, but also to help with deployment and implementation of specific technologies related to connected vehicles and automation. The priorities indicate where the bulk of transportation research and innovation is heading. They are not exclusive of other technologies or research areas.

In addition, the ITS Strategic Plan includes program categories to provide the necessary structure for research, development, and adoption of ITS technologies. These include:

  • Connected Vehicles – Primarily focuses on adoption and eventual deployment of the system.
  • Automation – Focuses on topics related to automated road-vehicle systems and related technologies that transfer some amount of vehicle control from the driver to the vehicle.
  • Emerging Capabilities – Focuses on future generations of transportation systems.
  • Enterprise Data – Continues existing efforts in operational data capture from stationary sensors, mobile devices, and connected vehicles and expands into research activities involving the development of mechanisms for housing, sharing, analyzing, transporting, and applying those data for improved safety and mobility across all modes of travel.
  • Interoperability – Focuses on how to ensure effective connectivity among devices and systems.
  • Accelerating Deployment – Advances the work from adoption to wider-scale deployment in coordination with several other DOT agencies. 

The ITS Strategic Plan was developed with significant stakeholder input from all relevant parties, both within and external to the Department. Close collaboration with all surface transportation modes (highways, rail, transit, motor carriers) and other agencies within the USDOT, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helped shape the direction of the plan.

The plan is available for download at: www.its.dot.gov/strategicplan.

508 compliant version is located at www.its.dot.gov/strategicplan.pdf

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