Meeting of the ITSPAC Webconference


February 24, 2010

The meeting was convened, pursuant to notice, at 3:03 p.m., DR. JOSEPH SUSSMAN, Chair, presiding, and reported from the DOT Building.

Meeting Participants ( participating by telephone)


Also Present (participating from U.S. DOT)

SHELLEY ROW, Director, ITS Joint Program Office
PETER APPEL, RITA Administrator 
DR. ROBERT BERTINI, RITA Deputy Administrator
BOB MONNIERRE, RITA Office of Chief Counsel
JOHN AUGUSTINE, Deputy Director, ITS Joint Program Office
STEPHEN GLASSCOCK, Program Coordinator, ITS Joint Program Office


CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  The RITA Administrator will be kicking this off, do I have that right?  Or are there introductions before that?

MS. ROW:  No, I was going to turn it over to Peter and Rob.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  I think that's fine.  So someone there is going to advance the PowerPoints?

MS. ROW:  Yes.

Welcoming Remarks: Peter Appel, RITA Administator

MR. APPEL:  This is Peter Appel, and I just want to start off by thanking all of you for being part of this extremely important committee and endeavor that we have.  I know many of you have been part of the advisory committee in the past.  Others of you are new to this.  It is important to have both groups of people in this set of dialogues.  The folks that have been part of the advisory committee in the past can bring some continuity and lessons learned from the work of the committee in the past; and the new members can bring additional perspectives as well.

I think this is just a dream team.  The 20 people that are on this advisory committee represent stakeholders from every aspect of ITS and the transportation community.  You are the leaders in this field and we are just thrilled to have you as part of this.  

The ITS program at U.S. Department of Transportation is one of the most important things we are doing.  When I think about my role over 9 months so far at RITA and Rob Bertini's role at 6 months at RITA, there are a number of things that are on our plate.  There are some things that I focus on more and there are some things that Rob focuses on more.  ITS is something that is so critically important that one of the reasons you see both of us here at this meeting today is because it is that important that it needs significant attention from Rob and significant attention from me.

We know that what we're trying to pull off in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems is hard.  There are many programs at DOT that have gone on for years and years and they're doing constructive things year after year after year.  But very, very few of them undertake challenges and try to overcome barriers as great as the ones we're trying to overcome to make real change in transportation technology and transportation safety, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and the like.

But the ITS program brings all of that, addresses more of the Secretary's strategic goals for this Department than pretty much any other initiative we have, and is critically important.  But we cannot succeed by working within the walls of USDOT.  We can only succeed by reaching out to the stakeholders, getting stakeholders' perspectives on it, and understanding what challenges we face in trying to pull off what we're trying to pull off, and in addition understanding from you where we are on our strategic direction and your perspective on that and your suggestions for it.

So we will listen to this team.  We will pay a great deal of attention to this team.  I spend a lot of time inside of this building and in outside audiences, again, talking about this message about how critical ITS is for so many of these goals.  I always start off talking about safety.  I know there are plenty in this room -- I know you all care about safety, but you also care about a lot of other things involving dramatic improvements to reduce congestion, to improve environmental sustainability, and the like.  There are many, many goals of the ITS program and there are a lot of projects that are addressing those goals.

I was trading emails back and forth with one of my colleagues that I have a tremendous amount of respect for, that many of you know very well, Ron Medford, who very recently became the Deputy Administrator of NHTSA.  There was a line in one of the emails, I decided a couple minutes ago I'd bring it back up in my Blackberry because I wanted to read it to you.

We were talking about vehicle-to-vehicle communication used for safety in the IntelliDrive program.  In the email he wrote back to me about that topic, he wrote the following line.  He said:  "There isn't anything that we will do at DOT while we are here that has the potential to save more lives and advance the state of traffic safety and mobility than this.  It is a major undertaking that requires focused attention and something that we really need, something that we struggle to have, but we need to advance as much as we can.

That really sums it up well.  We need to focus to make change.  This team will help us with that, and we look to your ideas.  Again, we thank you very much.  I want you to all, every member of this team, to know that you can pick up the phone any time you want and call me directly, give me your thoughts directly, in addition to this forum, and I encourage that dialogue.

So with that, I'll turn it over to Rob Bertini.


Welcoming Remarks: Dr. Robert Bertini, RITA Deputy Administrator

DR. BERTINI:  Thank you very much, Peter. Peter, I think you used up our five minutes, so I'll be brief, primarily because I agree with everything that Peter said.  I would just add that we thank you, the members of this advisory committee, the first advisory committee that we have actually been able to meet with here at RITA in our time here so far.  

We appreciate your patience in the reconstitution of the committee that, because of the transition, took some time.  But we're very much anxious to make up any lost ground that we may have experienced.  I don't think that a few months from now we will know that we lost any ground because I know that you'll be honest and open with us.  I really want to emphasize the transparent approach that we're taking here, where we want your honest assessment, we want you to disagree with us, we want you to push us.

I think we've tried to formulate this advisory committee in a truly cross-modal way that reflects all of our stakeholders.  This is something that we're trying very hard to work on for the ITS program in general, that the ITS program is taking on a more truly cross-modal flavor and we want to continue to emphasize that.

I would just like to express my personal appreciation to the ITS staff.  We have Shelley and John and Steven here.  It's a pleasure to work with them.  They're doing a great job and I know that they will support this committee very well.

So thank you again and looking forward to working with you all.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Well, thank you, Peter, Peter and Rob. I guess, Shelley, it's now back to me.

MS. ROW:  Yes.

Meeting Purpose and Agenda Review

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  So I have Slide No. 3 up, and I'm going to try and move with great dispatch through a fair amount of material.  But you all have on your computers via email all these Powerpoints, so I'm not going to dwell on every point.

We're going to talk about the advisory committee.  We're going to have a chance to get a sense of what's going on at JPO in the strategic plan -- strategic research plan, I should say, for ITS, and we'll have the ethics review at the end.

Can I move these myself?  No, that's not going to happen.  So next slide, please.

Overview or ITSPAC Purpose, Charter, and Accomplishments

So as has already been commented upon, this committee has as its purpose the advising of the Secretary of Transportation in the broad context of ITS.  I like this bullet because it says "Study Development and Implementation."  That is, we have the privilege of advising, not simply on research, although we spend a fair amount of time discussing it, but we --

MS. ROW:  Joe?  We lost you, Joe.  Let's wait just a minute.  We'll hang on just a moment.  We'll see what's happened.  If we don't get back in touch with him, we'll keep going while he calls back in.

VOICE:  In the mean time, is there any way we can get these slides sent to us?

MS. ROW:  They were sent to you in the read-ahead materials.  I believe that was on Monday.

MR. AUGUSTINE:  No, that went out on Friday.

VOICE:  What I got were the three intro slides.  The slides that are on the web site right now I didn't get until linking on.

VOICE:  I just called up this afternoon to try to get into the conference call and I don't have anything.  Is there a place I can go to look for it?

MS. ROW:  Who is speaking?

MR. LEOCHA:  Charlie Leocha.  I'm a journalist.

MS. ROW:  Oh, okay.  We'll have to make the materials available on our web site.

MR. LEOCHA:  Okay.  All right, and then, of course, I am a Mac-based guy, so I'm shut out of seeing anything.

MS. CHASE:  This is Robin Chase.  I actually connected fine and I got -- I do have that Powerpoint.  I'm looking at the web version from log-in.

MS. SADIK-KHAN:  Robin, it's Janette.  It works really well, I think.

MS. CHASE:  I'm getting it.

MS. SADIK-KHAN:  Are we going to be able to have a chance to get together in person on any of this stuff?  Because it sounds like it's great that we're going to do all this review of the materials, but in terms of like a dialogue on that kind of stuff, when does that happen?

MS. ROW:  We've sent out some emails to you all about scheduling the first meeting.  I believe it was scheduled for April the 7th.  So you should have some information from us about that actual first in-person meeting date here in D.C.


MS. ROW:  In the interest of time, I'm going to keep on and pretend that I'm Joe.

MR. DENARO:  Shelley, this is Bob.  I can help out, too.  But go ahead.

MS. ROW:  Okay, Bob. Let me -- ; (Telephone beep.)

MS. ROW:  Joe?  Joe?  Not Joe. Let me go ahead and --

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  This is Joe.  I'm back on.  I don't quite know what happened.

MS. ROW:  Okay, all right.  Well, you're back up again, then.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  I don't know where -- I have something on my screen that Craig Austin has entered and that now he's left, and I have no idea what's going on.

MR. AUSTIN:  We were trying to reach you in several ways to tell you you were no longer being heard out through the conference.  So disregard my message.  You obviously got it in some way.

MS. ROW:  Joe, do you want to pick up where you were?

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Yes.  Let's go to -- where I was was saying:  Next slide, please.  And no one responded, and I realized no one could hear me. So Slide 5, please. (Slide.) And I basically lost almost all my time.  The Slide 5 discusses our charter, which we have taken as a very broad one. Next slide, please.  (Slide.)  Next slide, please.  (Slide.)  There we go.  We report to the Secretary through JPO.  There are 20 members.  I was going to go through the names, but let's not take the time at this point.  The one thing that's worth noting is there was some pretty substantial turnover as we went from the committee phase one to the committee phase two.  There are seven holdovers, including me as Chair and Bob Denaro as Vice Chair. Bob, did you ever chime in?

MR. DENARO:  I'm here.


So we have a lot of fresh faces, but, as somebody indicated, some continuity as well.

Next slide, please.


So we have met typically three times a year.  There are opportunities to have additional working group meetings.  They all must be public meetings.  I was kind of amused at the quorum requirement:  Quorum, at least one-half of appointed members must exist for any official action.  So if some of you don't exist, please let us know as soon as possible.  I presume they meant either at the meeting or participating by phone.  I like that choice of those terms. We go through an approval of the agenda and the usual federal stuff with the Federal Register.

Next chart, please. (Slide.) We've met five times, starting in September of 2007.  Several of those are phone conference calls of this sort.  I think two of them were.  And we've written advisory memoranda.  We've written two, both in 2008.  So we haven't written one for now a good year and a half.

These advisory memoranda are drafted by Bob Denaro, the Vice Chair, and me, and then are circulated to all the members of the committee for any comments that they may have.  Usually it serves both as a record of the meeting from the point of view of the committee, but also it could be quite specific on recommendations and what we've learned. Next slide, please.

(Slide.) In those five meetings we've done several things, and you see the six bullets of various things that we've talked about, several that I'm particularly pleased about.  One is the very first, helping to characterize what the ITS program of the future might be; and another is the third, where we focused rather hard on an environmental perspective in the ITS program goals, because when this committee began that was not among the goals of the ITS program and we thought that that was quite out of step with much of what's going on in transportation, and certainly particularly with the change of administration it would be quite unfortunate were we not to focus on environmental concerns.

(Slide.) I'm going to kind of move quite right through this.  We've talked about an effective outreach to university transportation centers.  I'm of course an academic and am wired into the UTC program and I push very hard for using the large number of centers that have been enabled in recent legislation to get them hooked into the ITS research agenda.  They're almost -- they plausibly are almost a free resource for ITS to extend its reach. Next chart, please. (Slide.) We're going to skip by this one.  It just continues things that we've accomplished. (Slide.)

And lo and behold, we have Ms. Shelley Row, who is Director of ITS JPO, and I'll turn it over to her, apologizing for the interregnum.  I don't know what you folks did in the meantime.  But I went through this even more quickly than I had intended.

Let me say, I look forward to reacquainting myself with those who I already know and getting to know the members of the committee that are new to me, as well as new to the committee.

Let me just for a second before I turn it over to Shelley ask Bob, Bob Denaro, who's the Vice Chair, if there's anything he would like to add at this juncture.

MR. DENARO:  Not really, Joe.  I think you have everything there.  The only thing I would say is, for all of us, please read and re-read the charter and let's make sure through our future meetings that we stay focused on that. And Joe, while you were gone we scheduled the next meeting in Maui. (Laughter.)

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Sounds good to me.  You don't have to ask me twice. Okay, good.  Shelley, it's in your court. Thank you. (Slide.) 

Overview of JPO Organization, Management, and Proposed Mission

MS. ROW:  Thank you, Joe.  Let me just add my thanks to everyone for taking your time out to participate on the advisory committee meeting and to join us in this web conference today.

Let me just say one thing by way of introduction of my remarks.  We're going to provide for you of the ITS strategic plan that was just released.  It will be high level.  The reason we're choosing to do it this way is so that we can give you some familiarity with the program before we have you come here in person.  That way we felt like we could make better use of your time once you're here and you would be fairly familiar and will have a good base from which to start your discussion.  We thought it might be a better use of your time that way than by trying to do a basic briefing when we actually physically gathered you here together.

So today is simply to help you understand where we are as a basis for your discussions moving forward.

I did want to just mention one thing that Joe said, because we don't have time to talk about everything, but Joe did talk about the previous committee and one of the things he mentioned was the UTC program.  The previous committee has been very articulate about encouraging us to do that and I wanted to report back that we are moving ahead with that very well.  In fact, you will be hearing more from us in another venue about a meeting that we're scheduling in April with the UTCs to talk about this research program and how we can engage them and partner with them more fully with the resource program.

So that is one, again, a very direct result of the advice that this committee has provided to us in the past.  So I wanted to acknowledge that.  I think it's a real tribute to some of the work of the previous committee.

Let's go to the next slide, Andy. (Slide.)

I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about the ITS Joint Program Office.  The thing that I would just relate to you is that the Joint Program Office is a part of RITA in USDOT.  We manage and allocate the funding resources for the ITS research program, which includes also technology transfer and deployment support.

The thing that's most important about that is that we are organizationally situated to serve a multi-modal role.  We take that very seriously.  The research program I'm going to share with you was developed in strong collaboration with our modal partners and we're very proud of that and we have a lot of good representation.

Not only did they help us develop it; they are central to the execution of the work as well.  So while we talk about it as ITS strategic research plan, it is on behalf of the USDOT.  It is not a JPO research plan.

Okay, the next slide. (Slide.)

We have provided, just to give you a little context of who the JPO is.  You can see the organizational chart.  John Augustine is here with us today, as is Stephen Glasscock.  And you will see right off the bat we're a small organization, and that's by intentional design because we are intended to work hand in hand with the modal administrations and their staff.

So this is just the part of us that appears in the Joint Program Office.  Many more people involved when you look across the modal administrations, and then even more people involved when you look at the ITS industry and the ITS community, of which you all are representatives.

So let's move on, please. (Slide.)

Overview of ITS Strategic Research Plan, 2010 - 2014

I'm going to share with you a very high- level view of the ITS strategic research plan that was just released.  At the end of this presentation you will find a web link to the actual documents.  We are in fact out of the hard copies of the document.  We're having them reprinted.  If you would like a hard copy, we're happy to send one to you as soon as we have the reprint.

I'm going to give you just a feel for the process because we do think that's important, but then spend most of our time talking about what the content is of the plan, just so you have a working knowledge of it.

Many of you know we have a very robust history in the ITS program dealing with things such as dynamic message science, transit signal systems, transit advisory systems, through the major initiatives that were our most recent legacy, and the question was what should the future program be as we were winding down that current body of work. (Slide.)

So we engaged in a strategic planning process.  The point of this next slide is that we're going to talk about the strategic plan as it is administered through the ITS Joint Program Office.  That is only a piece of the whole.  The modal administrations within USDOT have their own ITS programs, and then of course there is a great deal of work that goes on in the ITS community and the research community, state and local governments, private sector, industry, and so on.  So we are only talking here about the research program that we have allocated to us from Congress. (Slide.)

The process started in 2008.  As Joe mentioned, the previous advisory committee was very integral to that process.  They spent an entire meeting with us, two days, talking about trends in transportation in the world and technology and helping us identify areas of opportunity for focus. We did interviews with modal staff and we did interviews with a broad range of stakeholders.  We did an RFI and we also did a public meeting.  So we got a lot of input.  The outcome of that was a focus on the theme of wireless connectivity, and you'll hear more about that. (Slide.)

Just to give you a feel for some of the things we've heard, this is a quick summary of some of the comments we got.  You can see, I would emphasize the continued concern for safety, the growing interest, that again Joe already mentioned, in environmental awareness.  Performance measurement is a key thing.  Liveability is something important here.  Wireless technology, the pace of innovation, strong consumer market, the expectations we see on consumers or from consumers for connectivity and information. (Slide.)

We rolled all that up and we got input from our stakeholders.  A couple of things I would just note on this slide that we heard very loud and clear.  One was focus the program, put forward a vision that we can work toward and that we can make real.  That's what we have really taken to heart and sought to do through this particular strategic research plan. (Slide.) So what you see now is we're just moving into this world of wireless connectivity and understanding how it can be harnessed for safety, mobility, and the environment. (Slide.)

The vision that we've put forward.  I won't read it to you.  Again, the main points here are that it is a multimodal system that is linked through wireless connectivity, to serve the public good for safety, mobility, and the environment.  When you wrap together all of the suite of technologies and applications that use this wireless connectivity, we give it the name of IntelliDrive.  Some people love it.  Some people hate that word.  But that's the nomenclature that we have stamped on top of all of this suite of technology. Next slide. (Slide.)

It's not a DOT briefing without the budget slide.  Let me just give you the high-level message on this slide.  The important thing is on that circle to the left, is that the vast majority of the funding resources go to research.  But there is a considerable amount of funding that's going to technology transfer, to program support, and then we have some amount of contingencies to be able to adapt and change and be flexible as we need to be.

Of that research program -- that's the circle on the right.  Of the research program, 63 percent of it is focused on multimodal research.  We have intentionally focused this program in areas that are inherently multimodal, that would be difficult for any single mode to undertake.   Having said that, we also have some aspect of the program that is mode-specific and some aspect that's exploratory, and I'll explain some more about that.

I might just ask if you all will put your phones on mute unless you want to add a comment, it'll just help keep the background noise to a minimum.

Just one more piece of background for you. In each one of the programs I'm going to describe to you, we're developing a charter and a program management plan.  In every one of them we will embed in them go and no-go decisions to help us determine if we're still on course and if it's still worthy of investment.  We will assess the costs and benefits at all major milestones.

Driver distraction, as you know, has been a focal point for our Secretary.  Addressing driver distraction is embedded in all of our research, as is evaluation and technology transfer and fundamentally stakeholder engagement.  It's being woven into every one of the programs so we make sure that everything that we do is in lock-step with the stakeholder community, and you are a big part of that, providing us advice. (Slide.)

IntelliDrive is the centerpiece of the research program.  Many of you are familiar with that.  If you're not, just the brief summary is that it is that suite of technologies and applications that use wireless communication to provide connectivity between vehicles -- so you'll hear me talk about vehicle-to-vehicle communications -- between vehicles and the infrastructure -- V2I, vehicle-to-infrastructure -- and with consumer devices.

All of those suites of technologies can support applications fundamentally in safety, also in mobility, and also in the environment, and we'll talk a little bit about all of those application areas. (Slide.)

This slide graphically depicts what we believe to be a very important point in the strategic plan.  The vision for IntelliDrive is what we seek to achieve, and the vision for IntelliDrive is to deploy that suite of technologies to realize those safety, mobility, and environmental gains.

The research program has been designed specifically to address the research questions that are necessary to be resolved in order to be able to implement this program.  They come in three areas, those research questions.  There are areas involving applications, which does include field test and demonstrations; the technology underpinning; and the policy and non-technical issues.  I will outline for you the high-level research in each one of those.

But the point is that it is intended to literally check off the boxes of the remaining questions that will enable us to deploy the technology and achieve those benefits. (Slide.)

Speaking of those questions, these are the high-level questions, and I won't go into all of them because you'll see them on some of the other slides.  Fundamentally with the applications, we want to know:  Do we have applications that are validated, that have proven benefits, because if we don't have that we don't have anything.

In the technology area, we have to have technology that's interoperable, secure, reliable, and stable.  In the policy area, we have to have an approach here that will ensure we have a sustainable system that will work for the public, meaning they're comfortable with the privacy provisions, they're comfortable with driver distraction issues, and that we do in fact have something sustainable.

All of these things have to be addressed in order for IntelliDrive to be able to be deployed, and that's what this research program is about. (Slide.)

Having said that, I'm going to start with the applications area.  The first one, and this is arguably the centerpiece of the work program, and this is the vehicle-to-vehicle program for safety.  A couple of headlines.  I'm not going to read this whole slide to you.  Let me just pick out a couple of the real salient points that I would call to your attention.

First and foremost, the research is designed to develop a few applications, test them, and validate their effectiveness.  So we're talking about vehicle-to-vehicle communications, are they effective?  We want to collect sufficient data that will allow NHTSA to decide if this technology is worthy of regulation, and we want to enable NHTSA to make the decision on if it is worthy for regulation by 2013, in that time frame.  We'll all be working very fast to make that time frame.

This does inherently use DSRC at 5.9 gigaHertz.  This is the designated spectrum or the allocated spectrum that we have for safety purposes. So these applications do make use of DSRC.

One of the primary areas of this part of the research is to find ways to accelerate DSRC into the vehicle fleet.  If you think about how long it takes to turn over the fleet, it can be many, many years.  We want to look at that, as well as how do we accelerate it.  The key area we're going to focus on here is the use of aftermarket technologies, how we can work with that community to embed DSRC and what we call "Here I am" messages into that kind of technology to get us some benefit and some applications earlier than we would achieve otherwise.

So the aftermarket piece of this is new and it's a key component of the V2V research.

Another aspect of this that I would just mention is we're assessing what is the infrastructure need to do vehicle-to-vehicle type of technology.  We think it is probably not as extensive as we once thought it was, which could lead us down some new areas for implementation.

On the bottom of each of these slides you will see our FY10 investment levels.  These are all multimodal programs.  We're showing you the first increment here of investment, but they are all intended to go out -- in this case it extends four to five years.

Let's go to the next one. (Slide.)

I'm not going to talk about these road maps.  These are conceptual.  They're provided for you to look at, but they are very conceptual.  There are much more detailed road maps in every case.

Let's go to the next one. (Slide.)

The other key part of this part of the research is the vehicle-to-infrastructure for safety applications.  It's structured similarly.  We intend to develop applications and test them to understand their effectiveness.  Again, this uses DSRC at 5.9 gigaHertz to power those safety applications.

The centerpiece of the initial work for vehicle-to-infrastructure applications will focus around traffic signal systems.  You'll hear us refer to SPAT, Signal, Phase, and Timing.  We want to see if we can equip traffic signal systems to emit a SPAT message, how can we use that in vehicle-to- infrastructure applications for safety.  We believe that there is tremendous value here that we want to research.  It is not the only type of vehicle-to- infrastructure application, but it is one that we think has particular applicability, particular promise, and is a good place to start.

That's the vehicle-to-infrastructure part of this program, and again you see the picture there.

Okay, now I'm going to ask you to mentally shift gears a little bit.  Those two programs are the core of the safety part of the program.  Now we're going to move on to the mobility part of the program.  Many of you are very aware of the power of data coming from wireless devices that are available today and that's what we want to take advantage of in this part of the research.

There is boatloads of technology and data available right now through wireless technology that we want to capture.  In this program we seek to capture multimodal data -- freeway, arterial, transit bus, transit rail, parking, any other kind of modal data that we can capture in real time, understand what we have, what the quality of it, what the level of detail of it, how can we integrate it with traditional sources of data, and then make use of it.

In this program we expect to capture many data sets for study and we anticipate making those data sets available to others in the community, particularly the research community, who can then use that as a catalyst for their own research.  So while we expect to do interesting things with this data, things like performance management for example, we also expect it can be a lever to help others catalyze their own research. (Slide.)

That real-time data capture program is essential to the dynamic mobility applications part of the research.  This is saying if we have that kind of wireless data, how can we use it today to better manage a multimodal system.  I meant to mention, this data is non-DSRC as well as DSRC.  We fully recognize -- and this is a shift from the previous program -- we fully recognize that there is non-DSRC data available today through all kinds of wireless technologies that we can and should be taking advantage of.  So we don't want to turn a blind eye to that.  We want to instead capture it and use it as quickly as possible for multimodal gain.

The dynamic mobility applications program will seek to develop applications that are particularly of use to public agencies, because our theory is that the private market will be driven by the private sector, and see how we can use this data for the public good through the public agencies.  So we will develop some applications and we expect to do a number of demonstrations, field tests, a lot of practical applications with the community to test it in a real world environment. (Slide.)

Now, the next two programs are very similar.  The road weather program is where I'll start.  This is again based around the vehicle.  The vehicle today contains a vast amount of information that we can make use of for management purposes.  In this part of  program we seek to capture some of the data that's coming specifically from vehicle systems, understand again what is the quality of it, what do we have on our hands, because we've never had it before, how does it integrate with data available from the National Weather Service -- and they are a partner in this program -- and then understand what kind of applications could be derived from it, again for a public agency purpose, while also making that information available through private industry for their use as well with the consumer market.

Similarly, the brand-new environmental part of the program -- and we are very proud of this and we have gotten a lot of excitement around this, and again this came directly from some previous advice from the advisory committee.  This is very similar.  There again is data on the vehicle.  We've never had access to it before.  How can we capture that data?  How could we use it?  How could it integrate with other environmental data?  We want to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency in this program, so we're seeking to do that.  And then understand again what kind of applications could we develop that make use of this data that we've never had available to us before.

We're very excited about this.  We expect to do some analysis in the early stages and then move into some kind of applications or demonstrations.

Underpinning all of this is our human factors program.  I mentioned driver distraction before.  This is a focal point for USDOT.  We expect to do a fair amount of research in the human factors area to address driver distraction.  The intent here is to work very closely, particularly with NHTSA, to see how do we make use of this technology in a way that it can actually improve safety and decrease driver distraction problems without increasing some of the safety concern about distraction.

We expect to develop some guidelines on how to design some of these interfaces so that we can move forward and take advantage of the technology.

Okay, let's move to the next one. (Slide.)

All of that was in the applications area. So if I did my job well you saw applications in the safety, mobility, which includes weather, and the environmental areas.  Underpinning all of that is technology. So, Andy, let's go to the next slide. (Slide.)

Some of you may hear that the technology is all settled, it's there, we just need to figure out how to implement it.  That is partially true, but not entirely true.  There are still some very difficult technical issues that remain to be researched in order to make this a deployable system.

For example, we're studying right now how to scale this up.  Some of these systems are communicating ten times a second with every vehicle. That's a scale that is unprecedented, so we need to study that.  We have to have systems that are completely reliable because they are safety- critical.  We have some issues with the radios that have not been completely resolved on how the packets are received and the reliability of that.  All of that needs to be handled.  Positioning is another area that is going to require some technical work.

To support that, we are updating the systems engineering and the architecture of the system.  That was a contract that went out recently.  We're also updating our testbed so that it can become an environment that can be used not only by us, but by the academic community, the public and the private sector communities.  And that is the testbed that we have in Michigan.  I know Kirk is on the line and we've been active participants with them.  There are other testbeds available, for example in California, and other states are developing those as well.  New York, for example, has a truck testbed.

So there is more technology work that we will be doing as well. Okay. (Slide.)

Finally, there is a policy underpinning that has to be addressed, and this is critical. (Slide.)

Some of the issues that we will be looking at are deployment scenarios, and I will be candid with you.  Some of those deployment scenarios are changing as we are learning more about what the technology has to offer and what's possible.  I think in your next meeting we can share with you some of our thoughts on how this might play out that gives us a way to actually make this thing real.

Financing will be a topic that we're going to have to grapple with eventually once we know what it is that we have to pay for.  And then some big ticket items:  liability, privacy, data ownership, governance, certification, how do you certify that these are all functioning systems that can be trusted by all vehicle manufacturers, for example.

One thing I neglected to mention.  When we say vehicle manufacturers, we need to hear that with a capital "V".  That means automotive vehicles, transit vehicles, heavy truck vehicles.  That's another new feature of this research program.  It has now encompassed all types of vehicle platforms, not just the automotive platform.  (Slide.)

These tracks are all interrelated or interdependent.  The only thing that you should take away from this slide is that they do all work together.  They are complex and they will iterate, and we'll be working on them as we go through the next several years to find the way through it to get to deployment.  (Slide.)

I'm only going to just briefly mention -- and I don't want to take too much more time -- there are mode-specific research programs.  You can see them listed here.  There's a little bit more information about them on our web site.  The thing I would note to you is that they are very multimodal in nature.  On this slide alone you see highways, transit, trucks, and maritime applications.

There's also an exploratory research part of the program.  In this particular one you see a rail component.  We had a meeting on that just today to bring FRA into the mix.  I would note the exploratory solicitation program.  We believe that we've got a pretty sound plan here, but we also believe that there are a lot of other things out in the community that deserve attention, that we want to have some flexibility to explore.  So this is an area where we expect to do some kind of innovative ways of getting a bigger section of the community engaged and looking for good ideas and new topics that need to be researched.

Also, I would just mention we do continue to have our technology transfer and evaluation components to the program.  Many of you are aware of these, so I won't go into them, just to mention we do intend to continue professional capacity- building, our architecture and standards program.  And every one of these programs will include an outreach, stakeholder engagement component, and an evaluation component. (Slide.)

So in summary, just the highlights.  You can see that we have a pretty heavy investment in multimodal research, $14 million still going to technology transfer, and half of our budget going to the IntelliDrive part of the program in FY '10, and that grows over the coming fiscal years.

The safety applications are the primary focus.  We're looking at helping NHTSA decide about regulation in 2013, focusing on Signal, Phase, and Timing.  DSRC is clearly the technology for the safety applications.  Driver distraction will be key.  We have a big component in international standards harmonization, and we also have strong programs in mobility and the environment that use DSRC and non-DSRC technology.  Again, this is across all vehicle fleets, targeted to get to deployment of these systems so we can start realizing the benefits. (Slide.)

So that's the high-level view.  This is where you can find some more information about the program.

One more slide, Andy. (Slide.)

I would also note we are on Twitter and we have an RSS feed.  We will be tweeting that you all met today, so you can see yourselves on the tweet if you wish.  Then we will also be following up with you to make sure that you have the link to the full strategic plan document should you choose to read that.

So let me pause here just a minute before we turn it over back to Joe, and then we also have Bob Monnierre to give us a very brief ethics summary.  Joe. (No response.) MS. ROW:  Uh-oh.  Uh-oh.  Anybody there?  (No response.)


VOICE:  Yes, we're here.

MS. ROW:  Okay, good.  I was worried. Is Joe there? (No response.)

MS. ROW:  Uh-oh.  Bob, are you there? (No response.)

MS. ROW:  Oh, my.

MR. DENARO:  Yes, I'm here.  I'm sorry.  I'm here.

MS. ROW:  Okay.  Bob, is there anything that you wanted to say, since we might have lost Joe again, before we ask Bob Monnierre to do an ethics briefing?

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Excuse me.  I am here.

MS. ROW:  Ah, there he is.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  I was such a good boy and put myself on mute.  I forgot to put myself back on voice.  Okay, I'm here. So is the floor mine, Shelley?

MS. ROW:  It is, Joe.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  So thank you for getting through a good deal of material with a great deal of speed.  Up here at MIT, as several of our members know, we talk about getting -- an MIT education is like getting a drink of water from a high-pressure fire hose.  I think you would fit right in in terms of how quickly you moved through that material. So I appreciate all the information and I would simply ask if anybody on the committee has any questions.  I would like then, before going to Bob, I'd like to just go through the list of people and make sure I know who is at this teleconference and who is not.  So any questions from anybody on the committee? (No response.)

Hearing none, let me -- did somebody raise their hand virtually?  I'm sorry. (No response.)

Hearing none, let me move through.  I know we have Steve Albert here.  I know Scott Belcher is not.  Joe Calabrese?

MR. CALABRESE:  I am here.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Okay, thank you. Robin, I think we checked you in, right? (No response.)  She's gone, but she was here before.  Bob Denaro was with us for at least part. Adam Drobot?  Adam?

MR. DROBOT:  I'm here.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Okay, thank you, Adam. Ann Flemer.

MS. FLEMER:  Here.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Did Gen Giuliano appear? (No response.) I guess not. Randy?  (No response.)  I guess not.  I guess California is -- well, Ed is here, so we're okay. Peter Kissinger? (No response.) No. Jack Lettiere?

MR. LETTIERE:  Yes, here.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Bryan Mistele I know we checked in earlier, right?


CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Don Osterberg from Schneider. (No response.) No.  Janette Sadik-Khan, I guess not, right?

MS. ROW:  She was here.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Oh, she was here, okay.  I didn't get her in or out.  Okay. Kirk Steudle from Michigan DOT?

MR. STEUDLE:  Yes, I'm here.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Good, Kirk.  Thank you. I'm here.  Peter Sweatman is not. Gary Toth?

MR. TOTH:  Here.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Okay.  Good, Gary. Pravin Varalya from Berkeley, are you there?

MR. VARALYA:  I'm here.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  And finally, James Vondale.

MR. VONDALE:  Yes, I'm here.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  So we did all right.  Enough of us existed so that we have a quorum, I'm pleased to report. Again, our thanks.  I'm looking forward to the April meeting.  We'll be working on putting together an agenda and we'll run that by people and just get a sense that we have buy-in on what we think is important to discuss.  But please don't hesitate to be in touch with me or with Bob or with Shelley or any of the other folks if you have some particular ideas that you'd like to see on the first meeting of the reconstituted task force.

So we just have about four minutes as I see it.  Bob, do you want to use that, use that time?  People I'm guessing will be dropping out, but why don't you get through as much as you can.

MR. DENARO:  I just have one quick comment, Joe, and that is that anybody on the committee who has suggestions on how we can be most effective in our process, please feel free to send some emails and suggest things.  What I'm talking about here is the fact that we all swoop in for a meeting and then we go away, don't think about things, and then we swoop back in again.  Somehow, in that process we've got to come up to speed and be able to make significant contributions and be useful, in two ways:  for us to be useful to the program office and for that information to be useful back for us.

So if you have any suggestions on how to manage that most effectively, please feel free to shout out.

MR. ALBERT:  Bob, this is Steve Albert at the Western Transportation Institute.  I am in June about to become President of the Council on University Transportation Centers.  So UTCs potentially playing a significant role in this -- in the past we have predominantly said we need to figure out how we can work better together.  I would suggest either in the April 7th meeting we have an agenda topic, if time permits, to at least develop a straw man of how that might work, rather than just continually talk year after year that we need to make it work.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  I fully agree.  I think the UTCs are an underutilized resource in the ideas context and perhaps some other contexts as well.  So we will make that a priority.  Good, thank you.

MS. ROW:  Steve, this is Shelley.  If it's okay with you, Mac Lister is working on that on my staff.  Can he give you a call directly?

MR. ALBERT:  Yes, that would be great.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  Excellent.  Any others? (No response.) If not, I think we're ready for our ethics fix.

MS. ROW:  Joe, I'm going to preempt Bob just for one quick minute.  There's just a couple of quick things.  You will be hearing from us more about the April meeting and the specifics on that.  One of the things that we'll talk about there is the ITS America annual meeting, and if any of you are going to be there we wanted to see if we can -- we're planning to do a tour for some of our senior executives and if you would like to attend that we would offer that to you.

We'd like to share with you there's more information -- Rob Bertini was just mentioning to me that we haven't given you any background about the governance structure within the building that we operate in, so that we're not an island to ourselves.

Then the only last thing before I turn it over to Bob, I just want to apologize in advance.  I hope this is the only meeting that we have where it's one-way communication from us to you.  That is so not the intent, and I just wanted to make sure that that was clear.  We did it this way this time just so that we didn't have to do it that way the next time. Bob.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  That's fair enough. Thank you.

Ethics Review

MR. MONNIERRE:  Good afternoon.  Thank you, Dr. Sussman.  I will try to go as fast as possible with the two minutes that I have been allotted.

First off, I just want to highlight to everyone that these are public meetings.  There was a question about agendas.  Please realize that the agency is required to publish an agenda in the Federal Register prior to the meetings.  So when you hear us talk about the regulations, those are the GSA regulations that apply to each and every federal advisory committee that operates.

These are open meetings.  They're on the record.  Those transcripts are available to the public upon request.  From time to time the question about a closed or what often people refer to as an executive portion of the meeting has come up.  I just want to alert all the members that that is a very detailed administrative process.  We actually have to get prior approval to do that.  So unless there are some extenuating circumstances or mitigating circumstances, the meetings are on the record.

Again, from an ethics perspective the GSA regulations require the agency head to ensure that ethical conflicts are avoided.  In the past, some areas that have come up would be where an advisory committee member wanted to do business with the agency.

That obviously is a conflict and would have to be examined based just on the appearance.

In addition, personnel actions, obviously input on something like that, that is simply an internal agency matter, would not be appropriate.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me.  I'm at 202-366-5498.  I'm also on the agency web site, but it's probably easier just to call me.

I see I've run over my allotted time, so I cede whatever seconds I have to the floor.

DR. BERTINI:  Those minutes were very expensive.

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  I was just going to comment that let the record show it was Bob Denaro that raised Maui.  I wasn't on the phone during that part of the meeting. Anything further?  Shelley, Bob, anybody else?  (No response.)

Summary and Adjourn

CHAIRMAN SUSSMAN:  If not, it's been a pleasure.  I'm sorry I dropped out of there for about four or five minutes, but I think we basically got everybody up to speed, and we will have, as Shelley has indicated, much more interactive meetings in the future face to face venue.  I look forward to seeing everybody in April.  Spring training is under way.  Baseball season is starting. We'll all starting to feel a little better, and we'll be seeing everybody soon enough.

MS. ROW:  Thank you, Joe.   (Whereupon, at 4:01 p.m., the meeting was adjourned.)