Meeting Minutes of the ITS Program Advisory Committee

1. General

  • The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Program Advisory Committee (ITS PAC) met by web conference on May 2, 2012.
  • These minutes provide a summary of the meeting proceedings. A copy of the minutes, the meeting transcript, and other meeting documents are available for public inspection and downloading at the ITS PAC website at http://www.its.dot.gov/itspac/index.htm.

2. Meeting Attendance

  • Committee members present, in alphabetical order:

Dr. Teresa Adams, Chair, Transportation Management and Policy Program and Director, National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mr. Stephen Albert, Director, Western Transportation Institute, Montana State University
Mr. Roger Berg, Vice President of Wireless Technologies, DENSO North American Research Laboratories
Mr. John Capp, Director of Global Active Safety Electronics, General Motors Corporation
Mr. Robert Denaro, Vice President, Nokia (ITS PAC Chairman)
Ms. Paula Hammond, Secretary, Washington State Department of Transportation
Mr. Sonny Holtzman, Principal, The Holtzman Group
Mr. Steve Kenner, Global Director of Automotive Safety, Ford Motor Company
Dr. Hans Klein, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology
Mr. Scott McCormick, President, Connected Vehicle Trade Association
Dr. Raj Rajkumar, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Mr. Brian Schromsky, Director, Federal Government and Public Safety, Verizon Wireless
Mr. Ton Steenman, Vice President/General Manager, Intelligent Systems Group, Intel Corporation
Mr. George Webb, County Engineer, Palm Beach County, Florida

  • Others present, in alphabetical order:

Ms. Sheila Andrews, American Motorcyclist Association
Ms. Valerie Briggs, Team Lead, Knowledge and Transfer Policy, ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
Mr. Brian Cronin, Team Lead, Research, ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
Ms. Linda Dodge, Chief of Staff and Program Manager, Public Safety and Rural Programs, ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
Mr. Stephen Glasscock, Program Coordinator, ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ITS PAC Designated Federal Official)
Mr. Sam Lamagna, Product Line Manager, Intel Corporation
Mr. Bob Leonard, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Mr. Bob Monniere, Office of the Chief Counsel, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
Ms. Shelley Row, Director, ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
Ms. Imre Szauter, American Motorcyclist Association
Mr. Carlos R. Vélez, Jr.; Project Manager, Citizant, Inc.
Mr. Greg Winfree, Deputy Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation

3. Meeting Action Items

  • The ITS Joint Program Office (JPO) will research how an ITS PAC discussion group can be established within Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) guidelines that all federal advisory committee deliberations be open to the public (see 5.b(5), p. 4).
  • The ITS JPO will provide the ITS PAC more information on distracted driving in the context of Connected Vehicle research (see 5.e(19), p. 9).

4. Meeting Agenda

  • Welcome:  Mr. Greg Winfree, Research and Innovative Technology (RITA) Deputy Administrator
  • Opening Remarks:  Mr. Bob Denaro, Committee Chairman
  • Ethics Review:  Mr. Bob Monniere, RITA Office of the Chief Counsel
  • Overview of ITS PAC:  Mr. Bob Denaro, Committee Chairman
  • Overview of ITS JPO:  Ms. Shelley Row, ITS JPO Director
  • Summary and Adjourn:  Mr. Bob Denaro, Committee Chairman

5. Summary of Proceedings

  • Welcome

Mr. Winfree welcomed the ITS PAC members and thanked them for taking time out of their busy personal and professional schedules to lend their time to “…what is going to be a game-changing technology going forward.”  Mr. Winfree stated that the ITS Program is at a critical juncture with respect to Connected Vehicle research.  In particular, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) agency decision in 2013 will be looking at the results of Connected Vehicle research to determine how best to move forward.

  • Opening Remarks
    • (1) Ms. Row emphasized that, while there would be a very active U.S. DOT staff role in the web conference and perhaps also in the ITS PAC’s first in-person meeting on May 24, 2012, the committee is theirs, and Mr. Denaro, as the Committee Chairman, and a yet-to-be-appointed Vice Chairman would be leading the committee’s future work in developing recommendations to the Department. Ms. Row then introduced Mr. Denaro for his opening remarks.
    • (2) Mr. Denaro welcomed ITS PAC members and thanked them for volunteering their time in “this important endeavor.” He stated that committee members had been selected specifically for their expertise and to ensure a balance between the disciplines that are important to the ITS Program. Mr. Denaro added that, in his opinion, the committee has a very substantial opportunity to influence the direction and success of the ITS Program.
    • (3) Mr. Denaro requested that committee members take time to review the reference materials available at the ITS PAC website (http://www.its.dot.gov/itspac/index.htm), especially the ITS Strategic Research Plan, to increase their knowledge of the ITS Program, thereby helping to improve the efficiency of the committee’s meetings and the value of its recommendations.
    • (4) Mr. Denaro stated that most of the committee’s work will be accomplished at in-person meetings, with some web conferences and/or teleconferences, as needed.
    • (5) Dr. Klein asked if there would be an ITS PAC email discussion group. Ms. Row replied that the ITS JPO will research how an ITS PAC discussion group can be established within FACA guidelines that require all federal advisory committee deliberations be open to the public.
    • (6) Mr. McCormick asked if a change of Presidential administrations would impact the operation of the ITS PAC. Ms. Row replied that the ITS PAC is established by legislation, so its operation would not be affected by a change of Presidential administrations.
  • Ethics Review

Mr. Monniere addressed two major points:

  • Registered lobbyists may not serve on Federal advisory committees; therefore, should any ITS PAC member become a lobbyist, that member would have to resign from the committee.
  • ITS PAC members must avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest. For example, committee members cannot enter into business relationships with U.S. DOT. To do so, the member would have to resign from the committee.
  • Overview of ITS PAC

Mr. Denaro summarized the following key aspects of ITS PAC organization and operation:

  • The committee was established by Section 5305 of Public Law 109-59, Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) of 2005.
  • The current committee is chartered for two years, beginning on January 23, 2012.
  • The committee consists of not more than 20 members, appointed by the Secretary of Transportation based specifically on their backgrounds and expertise and to provide a balance between metropolitan and rural interests.  Members are appointed to two-year terms.
  • The majority of the ITS PAC’s work will be accomplished at in-person meetings, with ITS JPO assistance.  However, the committee may conduct studies, inquiries, and workshops, and bring in outside experts, as necessary.
  • The ITS PAC is expected to provide input into development of ITS aspects of the Surface Transportation Research and Technology Development Strategic Plan and to review, at least annually, areas of ITS research being considered for funding to determine:
      • Whether activities are likely to advance either the ITS state-of-the-practice or state-of-the-art,
      • Whether ITS technologies are likely to be deployed, and if not, to determine the barriers to deployment, and
      • The appropriate roles for government and the private sector in investing in the research and technologies being considered.
  • Mr. Denaro stated that he envisions the committee holding three in-person meetings annually, supplemented by web conferences and/or teleconferences, as necessary.
  • Since its establishment, the ITS PAC has submitted four advisory memoranda to the Secretary.  Mr. Denaro strongly recommended that committee members review these memoranda in the ITS PAC website, especially the most recent memoranda, so that they will better understand the nature of the advice the committee will be developing.
  • Overview of ITS JPO

Ms. Row presented an overview of the ITS JPO and the ITS Research Program.

  • The ITS Program has evolved through three legislative acts:
    • Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) – 1991.
    • Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) – 1998.
    • Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) – 2005.
  • In ISTEA, the Program consisted primarily of operational tests, highway and transit system technology deployments, and the initiation of the Architecture Development and Standards Programs.  In TEA-21, the Program began to evolve to increased emphasis on research and development, and included a fully earmarked deployment program.  The current SAFETEA-LU legislation eliminated the ITS deployment program and is focused by choice on Connected Vehicle technology.
  • Under SAFETEA-LU, the scope of the ITS Research Program is research, development, and operational testing of ITS systems and providing technical assistance for the nationwide application of those systems.  SAFETEA-LU also requires that the ITS Program include:
    • An advisory committee.
    • An information clearinghouse.
    • Research, development, and operational tests of intelligent vehicles and intelligent transportation.
    • A National ITS Architecture and Standards Programs.
    • A road weather set-aside program ($5M).
    • Operational test guidelines.
    • A multi-state corridor operations and management set-aside program ($7M).
  • The U.S. DOT currently is awaiting Congressional action on new transportation authorization legislation.  ITS is in the proposed legislation; however, there are some issues with the proposed legislative language that could dramatically impact the future of the program.  Ms. Row stated that she would not discuss these issues during the web conference, but that the topic could be addressed at a later opportunity, if necessary.
  • The ITS JPO is part of RITA; with Ms. Row as the Director, John Augustine as the Managing Director, Linda Dodge as the Chief of Staff, and Stephen Glasscock as the Program Coordinator.
  • The ITS JPO is organized into three teams: the Research Team, led by Brian Cronin; the Policy Team, led by Valerie Briggs; and the Program Management and Evaluation Team, led by James Pol.  Ms. Row emphasized that the ITS JPO staff is available at any time to assist the ITS PAC in its advisory role.
  • The ITS JPO, by design, is a relatively small office because it works in full partnership with the other U.S. DOT modal administrations, so it leverages those relationships and their modal staffs.
  • The ITS JPO is responsible for providing strategic direction for the ITS Research Program and for coordinating the Program with its U.S. DOT modal partners.  The ITS JPO takes very seriously its working relationships with the U.S. DOT modal staffs.
  • Mr. Webb asked Ms. Row for an “order of magnitude” of the number of modal administration staff members with whom the ITS JPO coordinates.  Ms. Row replied with the following estimates: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – 8; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – 4; Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) – 2; Federal Transit Administration (FTA) – 3 to 4; (Maritime Administration) MARAD – 2; and NHTSA – 10 to 12, or more.
  • Ms. Row explained that the ITS JPO coordinates the ITS Program through the ITS Strategic Planning Group (SPG) and the ITS Management Council.  The SPG is comprised of two associate administrator-level representatives from each modal administration who coordinate the ITS Program budget, funding, and strategic direction.  The ITS Management Council is chaired by the Deputy Secretary and includes the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy and the administrators of the modal administrations routinely involved in ITS Program activity.  The ITS Management Council provides final concurrence on the ITS Program annual budget and spending plan.
  • The current focus of the ITS Research Program is the safety benefits of connected vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology.  This is due primarily to the results of a NHTSA study that up to 80 percent of non-impaired crash types may be impacted by Connected Vehicle technology.
  • NHTSA will evaluate data produced by Connected Vehicle technology research and will make an agency decision in 2013 on the future of this technology in new vehicles.  The agency decision options are:
      • Conduct additional research and development.
      • Promote vuluntary installation of wireless devices in new vehicles.
      • Mandate Connected Vehicle technology in new vehicles.
  • In addition to V2V research activities, the ITS Program includes research on the safety aspects of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology applications.  The Safety Pilot Program is an important component of the ITS Program, which involves driver clinics and a model deployment to document and determine the potential benefits of Connected Vehicle technologies and to evaluate driver acceptance of vehicle-based safety systems.  In addition to Connected Vehicle technology safety applications research, the ITS Program includes research on applications to enhance mobility and to minimize the environmental impacts of transportation.
  • The ITS Program’s research on safety, mobility, and environmental applications is underpinned by additional work on technology issues, such as standards, architecture, human factors, systems engineering, and test environments; and also by work on policy issues.
  • Ms. Row added that the ITS Program also includes work on technology transfer issues, exploratory research, and short-term multimodal research.
  • In closing her presentation, Ms. Row emphasized that U.S. DOT is faced with several complex, vexing issues concerning the Connected Vehicle program and is at a point where the Department has to find solutions to some difficult deployment challenges.  The Department would be very interested in the ITS PAC’s input and thoughts about how to overcome some of these challenges.  Consequently, at the ITS PAC’s May 24 meeting, the ITS JPO plans to share more details about the V2V and V2I research programs and about some of the major policy and security challenges currently facing the ITS Program.  However, Ms. Row reiterated that it is the committee’s prerogative to focus its work in other areas.
  • Dr. Klein asked whether the ITS efforts of other modal administrations translate into an ITS Program budget significantly larger than $110 million annually.  Ms. Row replied “no” – that ITS funding in other modal administrations is very small compared to ITS Program funding managed by the ITS JPO.
  • Dr. Klein asked also if the ITS PAC would be receiving more specifics about what is meant by “deployment” in the context of the challenges to the ITS Program.  Ms. Row replied that “deployment” in this context refers to Connected Vehicle deployment of traditional technologies for highway, transit, electronic tolling, etc.  Ms. Row added that the ITS PAC would be receiving a white paper in advance of its May 24 meeting that addresses progress in these types of deployments.  The best analysis to date is that State and local agencies are spending about $1 billion annually to deploy traditional ITS systems.
  • Mr. Webb requested that the ITS PAC receive an update on how the ITS Program addresses the Secretary’s concerns on distracted driving.  Ms. Row replied that the ITS Program includes a significant amount of human factors research on how Connected Vehicle technology can be used in a way to maximize its safety potential without contributing to distracted driving.  NHTSA recently released preliminary driver distraction guidelines that help guide Connected Vehicle research.  Ms. Row added that the ITS JPO would provide more information on this topic at the May 24 meeting.
  • Summary and Adjourn
  • Mr. Denaro again requested that committee members review the resource materials they have already received and those in the ITS PAC website, and additional materials that will be provided for the May 24 meeting.
  • Mr. Denaro stated that he considers his role of ITS PAC chairman as that of a facilitator.  Therefore, although he will not hesitate to express his opinions, the strength and robustness of the committee’s end product will depend primarily on individual contributions from all committee members.
  • Mr. Denaro stated that he had encouraged Ms. Row to share with the ITS PAC the major issues facing the ITS Program, which provide a good source for the committee’s initial focus.  However, the ITS PAC charter directs the committee to review other aspects of the ITS Program, so the committee will have to look at the Program from both of these perspectives.
  • Mr. Albert recommended that, given the breadth and depth of ITS PAC members’ backgrounds, the committee could study the institutional roles and responsibilities associated with the roll-out of ITS technologies.  Mr. Denaro agreed and stated that this topic would be included in planning for the May 24 meeting.
  • At Mr. Denaro’s invitation, Ms. Row offered her final comment that committee members should not hesitate to contact her, Mr. Glasscock, or any other ITS JPO staff member with any requests or questions.
  • Mr. Denaro thanked Ms. Row and the committee members and adjourned the meeting at 2:00 p.m.

We hereby certify, to the best of our knowledge, that the foregoing minutes are accurate and complete.

Shelley Row, P.E., PTOE
Director, Intelligent Transportation
Systems Joint Program Office
Research and Innovative Technology
Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation

Robert P. Denaro
Committee Chairman
Vice President
Nokia

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