ITS Program Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

  1. Meeting Time, Date, and Location.

A meeting of the ITS Program Advisory Committee (ITSPAC) was convened at 8:30 a.m. on March 13, 2008, in the Oklahoma Room of the U.S. DOT West Building Conference Center, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC, 20590. In accordance with the provisions of Public Law 92-463, the meeting was open to the public.

  1. Committee Members Present
  • Mr. Stephen Albert, Western Transportation Institute
  • Mr. Joseph Averkamp, Intelligent Transportation Society of America
  • Dr. Kenneth Button, George Mason University
  • Ms. Ann Flemer; Metropolitan Transportation Commission of Oakland, California
  • Mr. Alfred Foxx, Baltimore City Department of Transportation
  • Mr. John Inglish, Utah Transit Authority
  • Mr. Randell Iwasaki, California Department of Transportation
  • Dr. Adrian Lund, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
  • Dr. Granger Morgan, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Mr. Tomiji Sugimoto, Honda Research and Development America, Inc.
  • Dr. Joseph Sussman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Chairman)
  • Mr. Greer Woodruff, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.
  • Mr. John Worthington, TransCore

  1. Committee Members Absent
  • Mr. Scott Belcher, Intelligent Transportation Society of America
  • Dr. Lawrence Burns, General Motors
  • Mr. Robert Denaro, NAVTEQ Corporation (Vice-Chairman)
  • Mr. Thomas Lambert, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas
  • Mr. Bryan Mistele, INRIX
  • Mr. Michael Replogle, Environmental Defense
  • Ms. Iris Weinshall, City University of New York

  1. Others Present for All or a Portion of the Meeting
  • Mr. John Augustine, Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO)
  • Ms. Joyce Bader, Joyce Bader & Associates
  • Mr. Thomas Bolle, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)
  • Dr. Jan Brecht-Clark, RITA Associate Administrator for Research, Development, and
  • Technology
  • Ms. Valerie Briggs, ITS JPO
  • Mr. Paul Brubaker; RITA Administrator
  • Mr. Barry Einsig, Tyco Electronics
  • Mr. Gordon Fink, Emerging Technology Markets
  • Mr. Scott Geisler, General Motors
  • Mr. Yehuda Gross, ITS JPO
  • Mr. Jim Keller, Honda Research and Development America, Inc.
  • Mr. Tom Kern, ITS America
  • Ms. Jane Lappin, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
  • Mr. Barney Legge, Citizant
  • Mr. Ben McKeever, ITS JPO
  • Ms. Cheryl McQueary; Deputy Administrator, RITA
  • Mr. Siva Narla, Institute of Transportation Engineers
  • Mr. Andy Palanisamy, Citizant
  • Dr. Joseph Peters, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
  • Ms. Marcia Pincus, ITS JPO
  • Ms. Amy Polk, Citizant
  • Mr. Gary Ritter, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
  • Ms. Shelley Row; Director, ITS JPO
  • Mr. Michael Schagrin, ITS JPO
  • Dr. Curtis Tomkins; Director, University Transportation Centers
  • Mr. Carlos Vélez, Citizant

  1. Access to ITSPAC Documents
  1. Pursuant to Public Law 92-463, the records, reports, transcripts, minutes, appendices, working papers, drafts, studies, agenda, and other documents made available to or prepared for or by the ITSPAC are available for public inspection and copying in the ITSPAC Website at Accordingly, enclosures to these minutes and the meeting read-ahead cited herein can be found in the ITSPAC Website.
  2. Where relevant, slide numbers in the meeting Power Point presentation (Enclosure 1) are linked to the record.
  3. For brevity, comments by participants initially include full name and organization; thereafter, attribution is shown by last name only.

  1. Meeting Agenda
  1. Opening and Introductions
  2. Committee Purpose
  3. RITA Administrator’s Remarks
  4. Review and Discussion of Advisory Committee Input from November 2007 Meeting
  5. DOT-wide Strategic Planning
  6. SAFE TRIP-21
  7. ITS JPO Strategic Planning Results
  8. ITS JPO Proposed Mission, Goals, and Objectives
  9. ITS JPO Proposed Objectives, Metrics, and Programmatic Possibilities
  10. Small Group Report-out
  11. Programmatic Roles: ITS JPO, Private Sector, Public Sector
  12. Consolidation of Views and Recommendations

  1. Summary of Proceedings

a. Opening and Introductions

Dr. Joseph Sussman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Chairman): Sussman opened the meeting and acknowledged that he had been appointed Chairman and that Robert Denaro, NAVTEQ, is Vice Chairman. Denaro is out of the country and couldn’t participate.

Sussman asked participants at the table to introduce themselves.

b. Committee Purpose (slides 5-8)

Sussman noted that the Committee is mandated by SAFETEA-LU, and is chartered to advise U.S. DOT on all ITS-related matters.

Sussman shared several important features about committee operations:

  • Although the Committee is advisory only, it is an independent body. He stated its value derived from its independence.
  • This independence is supported by the RITA Administrator and Director, ITS JPO.
  • The Committee proceedings are public under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
  • Committee working group recommendations to U.S. DOT must be approved by the committee as a whole.
  • Subsequent to proceedings, the committee will make specific recommendations.
  • Tentative date should be set for the next meeting.

c. RITA Administrator’s Remarks

Mr. Paul Brubaker, RITA Administrator: Brubaker noted rapid changes in technology, but a lack of coordination among agencies.

  • This emphasizes the need for a clear focus for the ITS Program.
  • ITS applications have potential to improve safety, mobility and environmental stewardship.
  • Now is the time to make progress. Estimated annual cost of crashes in US is $204 billion. This includes all impacts:. medical costs, repair costs, lost productivity, etc.
  • We should establish goals in terms that people can understand; we have data to enable this.
  • Administrator proposes a goal of 90% reduction in crashes.
    • This is a bold goal, but achievable with leadership.
    • Achieving goal will require working with vehicle manufacturers, after-market manufacturers, and infrastructure managers to make vehicles that don’t crash into each other.

The ITS Program needs such laser-focused goals now before planning for reauthorization.

Dr. Granger Morgan, Carnegie Mellon University: Where does 90% come from? Has some analysis been done to determine what is achievable?

Brubaker: No.

Morgan: People will offer stronger support to a goal if it is backed up by analysis.

Morgan: If the budget for this program is $104 million per year, what are future budgets likely to be?

Ms. Shelley Row; Director, ITS JPO: The budget trend is flat; next year’s (FY09) budget will be $104 million.

Mr. Randell Iwasaki, California Department of Transportation: In California, we are moving towards a performance-based management system. A few years ago, we analyzed crashes in California through a Venn diagram. Our findings on causes of crashes were:

  • 92% - driver behavior.
  • 12% - infrastructure defects.
  • Another small percentage – weather, vehicle mechanical defects, etc.

A goal of 90% crash reduction gets at driver behavior.

Morgan: It would be helpful to do an analysis of driver behavior to determine how technologies could address this problem.

Dr. Kenneth Button, George Mason University: I like targets to attract attention. The aviation community set an ambitious goal to improve aviation safety. The goal was not achieved, but safety was improved by the effort to achieve the goal. Part of the safety goal should address mitigating crash effects.

Mr. John Inglish, Utah Transit Authority: This is déjà vu for me because 7 or 8 years ago the emphasis was on safety. However, the real issue facing the U.S. transportation system today is economic. ITS has an important role to play in strategies to find different ways to finance future transportation. Increased use of transit will contribute to safety improvements, and the better those systems become, the more people will use them. This is a better way to address safety issues without having to over-invest in certain technologies. We should address ITS in the context of the important role it can play in funding future transportation.

Mr. Tomiji Sugimoto, Honda Research and Development Americas, Inc.: NHTSA has set a goal; you (JPO) are proposing a new goal. Vehicle manufacturers have to design to a goal. Which goal should we design to?

Brubaker: The current goal is the NHTSA goal of 1.0 fatal crashes per 100,000 vehicle miles traveled (VMT). However, we can structure the ITS Program around a 90% crash reduction goal. I will be looking to the ITS Advisory Committee for input on how to lay a provocative goal. Improving safety has many ancillary benefits in terms of congestion as well. Additionally, a crash reduction goal has a built-in business case.

Mr. Steve Albert, Western Transportation Institute: We also need to address how institutions need to be re-engineered to achieve this goal. Most of U.S. DOT’s focus is on infrastructure. This focus is mismatched when you consider that 90% of crashes (the California example) are caused by driver behavior. I support establishing a goal.

Iwasaki: In California, we changed state laws to expedite incident clearance. This is an example of changing policy to improve mobility and safety.

Brubaker: If we adopt this goal, we can structure all of the JPO’s activities around it.

d. Review and Discussion of Advisory Committee Input from November 2007 Meeting

Sussman presented a summary of the main points that resulted from the ITS Advisory Committee meeting in November 2007 (Enclosure 2, “Advisory Committee Preliminary Input on the Future of ITS”).

Dr. Adrian Lund, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: Does this Committee view its mission as promoting new technology or developing Intelligent Transportation Systems? Many of our problems could be solved by low technology approaches, for example, replacing traffic signals with roundabouts. The critical issue in improving safety is public acceptance. We could reduce 10% of fatalities if we could force drivers to obey the speed limits. If speed limits were reduced (and drivers complied with them), fatalities would be further reduced. We tried that approach as a national experiment, but it was not accepted by the public. I like the stretch goal (90% crash reduction). In highway safety, we discuss “Vision Zero”; every crash is preventable.

Sussman: Public acceptance is not the only issue. State and local agencies must also support proposed approaches.

Inglish: In the transit industry, we potentially have much new technology. The challenge is finding the means to deploy the applications. Small transit agencies lack the resources to acquire and deploy new technologies, not only in terms of funding shortfalls, but also shortages of trained staff.

Albert: One of the issues not listed in the summary of meeting findings is the need for continuing training and education - especially in rural areas. There is also a need to communicate that ITS applications are scalable; it is not “one size fits all.” At the previous meeting we also discussed clearinghouses. We need to coordinate this area so that we don’t need a “clearinghouse of clearinghouses.”

Mr. Joseph Averkamp, Intelligent Transportation Society of America: What are our limitations on the JPO to take on specific challenges? Perhaps the JPO needs to be helping Akron, OH adopt new technology.

Sussman: There are no limitations on the advice this committee can offer to the U.S. DOT, within the ITS regime.

Brubaker: Introduced new RITA Deputy Administrator, Cheryl McQueary, who joined the meeting.

e. DOT-wide Strategic Planning

DOT-wide Strategic Planning - DOT Secretarial Roles

Row: Presented a four-page letter from Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters, outlining department-wide goals (Read-ahead, Tab B and slide 13).

Sussman: Environment didn’t make the list?

Row: No

Ms. Ann Flemer; Metropolitan Transportation Commission of Oakland, California: Were there any metrics for the second goal – “Improve System Performance and Reliability”?

Row: No

Inglish: In a recent meeting with U.S. DOT modal administrators, some administrators noted that they had solutions to each other’s problems. The real challenge is to breakdown the stovepipes.

Brubaker: In RITA we are organizing along intermodal lines.

DOT-wide Strategic Planning - Commission Report

Thomas Bolle of the RITA Government Affairs Office presented a summary of the final Report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission.

The summary addressed both the majority and minority reports. The Commission’s charter is “…to undertake a thorough review of the nation’s transportation assets, policies, programs and revenue mechanisms, and to prepare a conceptual plan that would harmonize these elements, and outline a coherent, long-term transportation vision that would serve the needs of the nation and its citizens.” Information about the commission’s work is available online at

Sussman: It is worth noting that there was a majority as well as a minority report, and that the Secretary of Transportation was one of those signing the minority report.

DOT-wide Strategic Planning - University Transportation Centers Program

Dr. Curtis J. Tompkins, Director of the University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program presented an overview of the UTC Program (supported by slides 16 through 20).

Tompkins: UTC directors have said that one of their highest priorities was figuring out how they could collaborate better with the ITS Joint Program Office. They brainstormed several ways that such collaboration could happen, e.g., placement of interns, appointment of liaisons, having the JPO as a site for UTC faculty’s sabbaticals, etc.

Sussman: The UTCs benefited from SAFETEA-LU with a big increase in funding ($76M). This represents a big opportunity for JPO to work with both earmarked and non-earmarked centers in the ITS area.

Morgan: How often are the competitive UTC’s competed?

Brubaker: The next recompete will be in 2010. There will always be earmarks, however.

Inglish: We in Utah found that the UTCs are a great opportunity to help with deployment. We use Utah State University to help us with deployment issues all the time. They approached us (i.e., the Utah Transit Authority). How proactive are the other UTCs?

Albert: The UTCs are very effective in coordinating with each other, and with the outside world. All have advisory boards. As a UTC, Montana State University gets mixed messages from the Federal Government. They (Federal Government) emphasize that partnerships are important, but they don’t have time to serve on our boards.

Brubaker: To date, the Federal Government has done a poor job at knowledge sharing. We have some ideas about how to improve, and we will be implementing those soon.

Mr. Alfred Foxx, Baltimore City Department of Transportation: I am on an advisory board for a UTC, and there is FTA representation on the board as well.

Albert: Federal involvement in the UTC program is inconsistent.

DOT-wide Strategic Planning - RD&T Strategic Plan Update

Dr. Jan Brecht-Clark, RITA Associate Administrator for Research, Development, and Technology, presented RITA’s Research Development and Technology Strategic Plan Update (slides 23 through 30).

Brecht-Clark: Our first strategic plan was not strategic. It was a catalogue of current and planned activities. Our second strategic plan will be truly strategic and department-wide. We have just released Transportation Vision 2030, which establishes the vision upon which the strategic plan will be based. We will be using the Research Planning, Investment and Control (RPIC) process that uses a portfolio management approach in order to coordinate research on 9 given topics (called communities of interest) across modes, including energy independence and ITS.

Sussman: The goal seems to be breaking down the stovepipes, at least in the research area.

Row: ITS research managed through the ITS JPO will be part of the RPIC process.

Brubaker: I want to ensure that the Advisory Committee has a list of our “communities of interest.”


Mr. Gary Ritter of the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center presented an overview of SAFE TRIP-21, a research and demonstration program of vehicle infrastructure integration (VII) capabilities scheduled for November 2008 (slides 33 through 44).

Morgan: SAFE TRIP-21 raises the issue of security. It is impossible to retroactively “fix” systems that have security vulnerabilities. Can you address ahead of time (now) measures to protect against security breaches.

Additionally, I see nothing about privacy in any of this strategic planning, and I see nothing about denial of access countermeasures.

Ritter: Privacy and security are two of the issues that we are looking at, but we cannot really tackle them in the timeframe we have been given.

Morgan: You might want to consider assembling the best security experts in a workshop to examine these issues now.

Brubaker: In my former job at the Defense Department, we looked at security issues in depth. Security and encryption best practices and standards exist, and we should see how we can use them. One example is Internet Protocol 6.

Row: Security is of the utmost importance in safety-critical communications. We have research underway in this area. It is a question of whether the research is adequate.

Sussman: Could you address what we will actually see at the ITS World Congress in New York this November? Could you also speak to funding?

Ritter: I cannot address the funding picture while there is a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) out on the street. Responses are due March 28. We won’t really know what the New York demonstration (at the ITS World Congress in November 2008 in New York City) will look like until we receive the proposals. We are encouraging integrated proposals to showcase integrated systems.

Averkamp: ITS America, which is hosting the ITS World Congress, is encouraging coordination.

Sussman: On the range between top-down to bottom-up approaches, it appears you are talking more of a bottom-up approach, which may result in disparate, un-integrated systems.

Ritter: We are doing a little of both. We want SAFE TRIP-21 to address real-world problems that the proposers will describe.

Brubaker: We have energized the ITS community, and they are rising to the challenge.

Sussman: What will our Japanese colleagues bring to New York to demonstrate?

Ritter: The people who run the Japanese Vehicle Information Communications System (VICS) are hoping to demonstrate something in New York. They may bring a simulator.

g. ITS JPO Strategic Planning Results

Row: Presented an update outlining the JPO staff’s efforts in strategic planning on the future of the ITS Program and the JPO (slides 46 through 66).

Slide 48 – Current JPO Organization

Sussman: What is the significance of the numbers in parentheses?

Row: The General Schedule grades of the incumbents.

Row: We have a three-legged stool; each leg representing research, education or technology transfer.

Morgan: How is your $104 million budget allocated across the three major areas?

Row: Approximately 75% research and 25% education and technology transfer.

Slide 55 Major Initiative

Row: We have 11 initiatives. One has reached completion, and two have recently started: the Congestion Initiative and the Rural Safety Initiative. SAFE TRIP-21 is an integral part of Vehicle Infrastructure Integration.

Morgan: What kinds of standards has the JPO helped to develop?

Row: Many standards ranging from traffic signal controllers–to-variable message signs-to- incident management as examples.

Beginning with slide 57, the presentation addressed future activities

Row: All of the input we have been gathering from Advisory Committee members, the ITS JPO staff, ITS Management Council members and ITS Strategic Planning Group members – will form the basis of the next update of the ITS Strategic Plan. The ITS JPO is required by Congress to update our strategic plan every two years. We have an update due this year. In order to stay on schedule, we must finish writing the plan in May.

Slide 58

Mr. John Worthington, TransCore: “Creating” is not an appropriate Federal role.

Slide 59

Sussman: I noticed that your safety goal doesn’t mention the word “networked.” “Networked” is code for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure. It does not emphasize infrastructure.

Row: The modal administrators recommended using this word. We are also dealing with trademark issues associated with using the word “networked.”

Sussman: Maybe reducing crashes is feasible, but reducing injuries and fatalities, once a crash occurs, is far more a function of vehicle crashworthiness.

Morgan: I believe your focus should be on integration. Volvo is currently developing this capability (see Intelligent Vehicle – slide 59). It is important to differentiate between technologies currently being (or about to be) rolled out and those still in the “blue sky” stage.

Slide 60

Morgan: On the mobility goal, you mention “optimize” (network performance). Who gets to choose what is meant by “optimize”?

Albert: On the mobility goal, I’d like to see you add the word “anywhere.” In rural areas, there is no detection capability.

Morgan: How would you get data to rural roads?

Albert: Probably through the use of probe vehicles.

Morgan: Has there been any discussion of universal access? Are we going to price some segment of our society out of our transportation system?

Row: This issue has been discussed from a policy perspective. We are merely addressing technology here.

Morgan: But technology does have policy implications.

Iwasaki: On your environment/energy (slide 62), are you talking about emissions from transportation overall?

Row: No.

Flemer: Are these goals set by the JPO, or has the JPO set these goals responding to outside conditions?

Row: The JPO has developed four goals, but we want to hear from you. These are stretch targets.

Sussman: Are these goals for the U.S. DOT (all forms of transportation) or just for the JPO’s ITS Program? For example, are 40% of emissions going to be reduced just by ITS?

Row: These are Department-wide, transportation-wide goals.

Sugimoto: The goals need to have logic, or no one will follow them.

Iwasaki: In California, there are statewide emissions reduction goals. But the transportation sector has identified a piece of it.

Morgan: These are only direct emissions. There is a whole field emerging on indirect emissions.

Sussman: Where does professional capacity building (PCB) fit into your enumeration of the Federal role?

Row: We need PCB as part of technology transfer, but we could change that; that is, have it singled out.

Morgan: I see a problem with making very bold statements when the ITS JPO doesn’t run the whole system. These statements will not have any effect if they are not reasonable. For example, in the safety goal, assume 70% of all crashes are attributable to driver behavior. Say that technology could prevent 50% of driver-behavior-caused crashes. That is only 35% of all crashes, but we have a goal of reducing 90% of crashes.

Albert: In our breakout discussion, can we propose alternative goals?

Row: Yes.

Row: In your blue folders are additional handouts you will need during the course of the day. The second one is an e-mail from Bob Denaro (Enclosure 3) providing comments that you can consider in your discussions. Behind Denaro’s e-mail is a sheet titled, “Suggested Acceptance Criteria” (Enclosure 4) which you can use if and as you see fit. These are criteria the JPO staff determined should be used to determine if the five focus areas we just discussed merited further consideration and presentation to the Committee

h. ITS JPO Proposed Mission, Goals, and Objectives

At the conclusion of the “ITS JPO Strategic Planning Results” presentation, Sussman asked the committee members to comment on the proposed mission, goals and objectives using the “Questions for Discussions/Breakout Groups (1)” (Enclosure 5).

Button: How do you propose to measure whether the U.S. has the best-performing transportation system in the world?

Mr. Ronald Greer Woodruff , J.B Hunt Transport, Inc.: Do you have any data on, for example, how many demand-responsive traffic signals are there across the country?

Row: We have an ITS Deployment Statistics Database that compiles that kind of information. We survey every two years to populate that database.

Woodruff: ITS technology market penetration and deployment might be good metrics.

Iwasaki: The Deployment Statistics Database measures outputs versus outcomes.

Woodruff: I agree, but if the goal is to deploy technology, and it is never deployed, the program cannot be successful.

Inglish: In the U.K., they measure the success of technology, in terms of economic benefit.

Worthington: I believe it is the private sector’s role to create. It is the public sector’s role to demonstrate.

Morgan: I would argue against dropping the word creation. The private sector sometimes does not develop products where the payoff is a decade away.

Inglish: Should we say promote instead of lead?

Sussman: I object to the word technology. There are solutions that are more than technology-based. There are institutional changes and education changes that would advance towards these goals.

Inglish: If you remove the word technology, you open yourself up to land use-based solutions, etc.

Button: I object to the use of the words intelligent technology. No agency is going to advocate unintelligent technology.

Albert: I would add mention of best management practices.

Sussman: Safety is part of transportation performance. It is repetitive to call it out.

Button: I would like to include words like facilitate and stimulate rather than lead and achieve.

Row: I am curious that no one wanted to add the word research.

 Button: That’s what creation of technology is.

Flemer: What’s missing to me is how we are going to communicate that, if you are looking for improvements, here are the technologies that you should try.

Sussman commented on the broad goal areas: Safety, mobility, environment and 21 st century institutions, and partnerships.

Button: Economic competitiveness is subsumed under mobility, but I think it should be called out.

Morgan: I would add security and social acceptability.

Lund: Public acceptability is a metric by which you would measure your activities. Also, is it really the JPO’s mission to change the way the institutions work together?

Morgan: This is a great goal if you can figure out what to do.

Averkamp: I interpreted this as making it easier for, for example, CalTrans to adopt these new technologies that have been developed.

Row: The intent was to get at institutional issues with deployment. How do you get agencies that have traditionally been construction-based to see themselves as operating agencies?

Sussman: What do the committee members think about Granger Morgan’s proposal to add a goal of security?

Lund: I think it is a reasonable add-on. The goal is to make these systems hack-proof.

Foxx: Wouldn’t security be a component of each item?

Morgan: My concern is that if you do that (add security to each goal area), everyone will pay lip service to security, but non-secure systems will emerge.

Button: At some point we need to discuss cost-effectiveness. Perhaps it is best addressed in the mission statement.

Inglish: Should we move security into the mission statement?

Iwasaki: No. That will not mean anything to the state DOTs.

Morgan: Instead of 21 st Century staff, just say “lower institutional barriers to adoption.”

Inglish: The term “environment” is rapidly being replaced by the word “sustainable.”

Button: “Sustainable transport” goes against the whole ethos of “sustainability.” “Best in the world” language is a bit (self-) aggrandizing. The Dutch (for example) might have a better system.

Sugimoto: On the plan-do-check-action spectrum, what phase is the JPO in?

Row: Today, the role of the JPO is to conduct research and education/technology transfer. But, our role could change. We, in partnership with others in U.S. DOT, do all four phases (plan-do-check-action) within research.

Sussman: Three E’s: Economic development, Environmental sustainability, social Equity. Nothing in the mission and broad goals mentions equity.

Inglish: Addressing the needs of the elderly and disabled is a challenge for us.

Albert: I like the mention of sustainability because maintenance of all these technology-based applications is a huge issue. Mobility means one thing when you talk about this (i.e., reducing congestion), but when rural folks talk about mobility, they are thinking about the aging population getting around.

Sussman: In the November meeting, we talked about the JPO aiding the private sector in rolling out ITS technologies to the developing world.

Lund: The developing world has too much to figure out.

Worthington: That can happen as a by-product. It might not be worth it for the JPO to explicitly conduct outreach. Whatever is done needs to transcend politics. For example, our current Republican administration places a great emphasis on tolls. Will a Democratic administration have the same emphasis?

Sussman’s post-meeting commentary on the JPO mission:

The mission as stated originally to the committee is as follows:

“JPO’s mission is to lead the creation and demonstration of intelligent technology solutions to achieve the safest and best performing surface transportation in the world”.

There was some sense that adding the word “facilitate” to the action verb in the first sentence would be appropriate. Some thought the emphasis on “technology” could be softened, given recognition of other non-technical solutions. The question of achieving “the safest and best performing surface transportation system in the world” begs the question about how the various measures of effectiveness we use for transportation systems--- mobility, environmental impact and so forth--- are weighed in that discussion. It’s a more nuanced question than suggested by the mission.

i. ITS JPO Proposed Objectives, Metrics, and Programmatic Possibilities

Row presented a written narrative from the JPO staff on one focus area that would address the Safety goal: The Networked/Intelligent Vehicle.

Button: Much of the severity of vehicle crashes is dependent on the vehicle design: seat belts, air bags, etc.

Row: Some of the research that we have done shows that warning drivers mitigates the effects of a crash.

Button: I would rather have the goal be only reduction in the number of crashes, not the severity. Also, what do you mean by “associated economic costs”? The costs of crashes generate income for a certain sector of the economy, e.g., doctors, hospitals, etc. Can we say “negative economic costs” instead?

Sussman: I find this goal pretty highway-centric.

Lund: This write-up seems to describe only a warning system, not something that would assume control.

Row: That’s a good question. I would like the small groups to address that question.

Worthington: I am not sure that it is the JPO’s purview to be “creating” a capability of the connected vehicle. The JPO’s role should be “facilitating” the creation of such a capability.

Morgan: The private sector is developing this stuff. I am uncomfortable with the lack of differentiation between stuff that’s being developed now and stuff that’s further out.

Sussman: This write-up doesn’t mention modal shift (e.g., from highways to transit) as a way to improve safety.

Inglish: It is safer for people to ride transit. We already employ a lot of safety technologies on our trains. Moving people to transit is better mentioned in the “real-time data all the time, everywhere” write-up.

Morgan: The move to transit does belong in this write-up.

Button: Could you elaborate on the term “360 degree awareness”? I thought it was more important to focus right in front of your rather than far off in the distance.

Row: I did not necessarily mean to have equal range in all directions. And, actually, you do want to know what is happening on the side, particularly in commercial vehicles.

Sussman: The word “networked” is code for the fact that the infrastructure matters too, right? Does this code word give sufficient treatment of the infrastructure? I think we need to be more explicit.

Row: Yes; you do have the code right.

Lund: Adding the term “networked” makes the definition more restrictive.

Row: This was intentional. We do not need to promote autonomous systems. The vehicle manufacturing industry is doing that without the JPO’s help.

Worthington: Could you add “with infrastructure” after “networked” to make the role of infrastructure more explicit?

Button: Why use three words when one will do? More brevity is needed.

Sussman’s post-meeting commentary on the Safety goal.

The Safety goal is: Achieve measurable reduction in crashes, injuries, fatalities and the associated economic cost.

With the following focus area: Networked/Intelligent Vehicle.

The committee felt it was important that the goal title reflect a close coordination between vehicles and infrastructure. The term network was interpreted to mean vehicle-to-vehicle communication, which is of course important, but vehicle to infrastructure and vice-versa is vital as well.

Sussman presented a written narrative from the JPO staff on two focus areas that would address the Mobility goal: Real Time Information For All Modes On All Roads and Integrated Payment Systems.

Real Time Information For All Modes focus area:

Albert: I do not see anything here on how technology can affect the demand side, how it could affect land use. This (the write-up) is great for operations.

Iwasaki: I do not think it is the role of the JPO to foster technologies that affect the demand side.

Morgan: I agree that this is a very important research problem, but I don’t think that it is an appropriate role for the JPO, given limited funding.

Button: Is the goal to provide the information and let other make use of it? Where is the line between public and private sector roles?

Row: This is a good question, and we want your input in it. This is what we have been doing for many years. However, what we have not been doing is multimodal information and facilitating the transfer among modes. Having said that, we need to think very hard about the Federal role.

Morgan: What is needed is short-term forecasting models. A possible Federal role is encouragement of these models.

Inglish: This shows the advantage of transit. We already know where all our vehicles are. People can look at their PDAs, and get this information. We already use our para-transit vehicles as probes, and we dispatch around traffic jams.

Button: What is the policy about charging for data?

Iwasaki: Public sector agencies don’t charge for it. But there are conflicting dynamics that make development of a viable business model challenging.

Integrated Payment Systems focus area:

Worthington: Is this a place that the Government should be instead of letting the private sector sorted it out?

Lund: What does it mean: “One totally integrated payment system for all modes”?

Inglish: It means just what it says, and it enables us to do more than we could with non-integrated payment. We can get a lot better data about our customers: Where they boarded, where they got off, etc.

Lund: Does this mean that all roads are toll roads?

Worthington: Today, open road tolling requires expensive, clunky cards. With today’s technology, you cannot do open-road tolling and other forms of payment with a single card.

Iwasaki: The role of the JPO should be to prod these systems to integrate eventually.

Button: Why stop at integrated only for transportation? The banking industry is moving towards total e-payment.

Morgan: Privacy, anonymity, social equity are huge issues in this area. There are non-trivial implications with this capability.

Row: Based on the discussion from the previous session, I have added privacy, security, social equity, and social acceptability as important issues.

Sussman: Are the two focus areas presented thus far sufficient to address the mobility goal?

Averkamp: Where is the effort to reduce congestion?

Row: We thought that these two focus areas do address congestion.

Sussman: Are we adequately addressing pricing in these write-ups?

Woodruff: Aren’t congestion mitigation and pricing natural outcomes of ubiquitous information?

Flemer: Information on real-time pricing is part of ubiquitous information.

Button: A variable price is a way to tell travelers the degree of congestion on a road. The price is a form of information.

Flemer: Knowing information about what’s happening on a transit system and a freeway system is a form of information, yet I think it is better represented in the payment write-up than the information write-up.

Sussman’s post-meeting commentary on the Mobility goal:

The Mobility goal is: Achieve measurable performance in mobility, systems performance, and economic productivity in research and demonstration of ITS technologies.

The first focus area under the Mobility goal is: Real-time information on all roads for all modes.

Adding the word “predictive” before “real-time”, is consistent with the state of current ITS research. And the notion of access of all citizens to transportation information -- universal access -- is important. More emphasis on congestion charging could be included in this goal and focus area. At the same time, there was some sense that the quite lengthy discussion should be shortened for executive use.

The second focus area under Mobility is: Integrated payment.

This is an important focus area although possibly too narrowly cast. The committee was concerned with a lack of emphasis on privacy and security. The idea put forward was designing privacy and security into ITS at an early stage, in a way that was not done, for example, with the Internet with unfortunate results.

Sussman presented a written narrative from the JPO staff on a focus area that would address the Environment goal.

Morgan: There is a major IT benefit to plug-in electric hybrid. This is an area that the electricity industry has only begun thinking about. Plug-in electric hybrids may require a universal billing structure. The electric company needs to know whom to bill when hybrids are plugged in to recharge. The Federal role might be limited to a support role.

Flemer: Does this write-up cross into the Department of Energy? Do you know what their research agenda is?

Row: No.

Sussman: This may go beyond what we have now in this environmental write-up, but given the importance of the topic, a stretching is in order.

Morgan: The EPA would not take this on. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is only just starting to think about this.

Lund: You need yardsticks to measure the environmental impact of what you are doing. This is not really a focus area per se. It is an approach to the measurement of environmental impacts of all ITS activities.

Row: This write-up was included as a first step.

Sussman: Deploying ITS applications results in two conflicting effects on the environment.  On the one hand, ITS can smooth traffic flows, thus reducing emissions.  In the process, capacity is increased which enables more driving, this in turn, increases emissions.  The language in this write-up says "document environmental improvement."

Albert: A lot of environmental work in transportation looks at tailpipe emissions. Decision support systems for snowplow operators could have environmental benefit: e.g., route them around streambeds, minimize anti-icing chemicals, etc.

Lund: The JPO needs to be promoting a conceptualization of and measurement of the environmental impacts of ITS.

Button: Environmental impacts include noise, run-off from roads (water quality), etc. What might be fun is to make available an encyclopedia/catalogue listing of what could be done. Provide an awareness of what is available and feasible.

Sussman: This write-up is silent on global climate change.

Sussman’s post-meeting commentary on the Environment goal:

The Environment goal is: Achieve improvements in air quality and reductions in fuel consumption.

The committee was pleased to see the emphasis on this goal; however, some suggested casting a wider net, not limiting ourselves to air quality, but also being concerned with climate change, water quality and even noise. The question of how this focus area relates to the work DOE, EPA, EPRI was discussed. Also, a broader notion of IT – for example involving the information technology aspects of allowing hybrid vehicles to be charged up at a site remote from the originating city--- can be considered.

There is one focus area under this goal: Environmental implications of ITS.

The question of where vehicle technology fits into this goal arose. Environmental improvements will occur through new vehicle technology; however, this hasn’t traditionally been considered a part of ITS. This relates to the broader question of how the U.S. DOT ITS activities relate to any number of alternative approaches to transportation systems improvement, including but not limited to environmental questions. So understanding the connection of ITS to the clean vehicle programs, land use/city shape/city form issues, demographics (e.g. the aging population), the role of ITS to expedite gas tax or carbon tax implementation -- all of these are of potential interest.

Sussman presented a written narrative from the JPO staff on a focus area that would address the 21 st Century Institutions and Partnerships goal.

 Iwasaki: Goal is to “foster”; objective is to “eliminate.”

Morgan: This would be a more effective write-up if it could get more specific. For example, list the four most problematic barriers.

Albert: Also it would be good to look at entirely new institutional models.

Morgan: Politically, this is one of the more risky endeavors for this program. You would be better served by looking a few levels down, at the working level. Look what happened with Revenue Commission (National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission); the Secretary issued a minority report.

Button: Not only should we be looking overseas for technologies, but for new models of institutions as well. Politically, it would be wise to catalogue options with their advantages and disadvantages, but not issue recommendations. I would not limit what level of question that the JPO should consider. What about the role of the U.S. Government in setting international standards?

Row: Many standards cross out of the U.S. We need to think about where we engage in worldwide standards setting.

Sussman’s post-meeting commentary on the 21 st Century Institutions and Partnerships goal:

The 21 st Century Institutions and Partnerships goal is: Foster new institutional relationships to enable better and faster use of technologies in transportation.

This goal is quite important, although politically risky to undertake. The focus area under this goal is: Institutional and policy research to support elimination of implementation barriers and enhance the use of ITS for performance management.

Understanding the institutional constraints under which ITS operates is vital. We need to understand the federal role more completely -- for example in education and training, in standards, in collecting lessons to be learned from international models of institutional engagement, in technology scanning--- and more generally, understanding the need to “reengineer” various organizations and the connections between those organizations-- all of these are important and need to be studied and understood.

Institutional issues can be approached from several perspectives. The ITS JPO might focus on what some on the committee called low-level implementation questions, which of course can be very difficult institutionally speaking. Or perhaps, the approach to institutional issues could be descriptive only -- describing the problems but not putting forward normative or prescriptive approaches. Both of these were suggested as a mean for avoiding the political fray; the committee needs further discussion on this topic.

At this stage in the proceedings, Row requested that the Chairman divide the Committee into break-out groups to assess the goal write-ups. Each group was assigned two goal-related papers developed by the JPO staff that addressed five focus areas: Networked/Intelligent Vehicle (Enclosure 6), Real-Time Information on all roads and for all modes (Enclosure 7), Integrated Payment (Enclosure 8), Environmental Implications of ITS (Enclosure 9), and Institutional and Policy Research (Enclosure 10). To guide the group discussions, each group was provided “Questions for Discussions/Breakout Groups (2)” (Enclosure 11) and “Goal Specific Questions for Discussions/Breakout Groups” (Enclosure 12).

j. Small Group Report-out

Sussman: Requested group reports.

Networked/Intelligent Vehicle and Real-Time Information Group

Networked/Intelligent Vehicles
Group Presenter: Lund:
First question addressed was – “What is the Federal Role?”

  • Group generally agreed with JPO goal paper.
  • Group expressed the importance of not being excessively concrete: e.g., in lieu of “establish an architecture,” recommend “promote an architecture.”
  • There is a need for research on the extent to which driver feedback needs to be standardized, for example:
    • Some vehicles feature audible warnings;
    • Some vehicles incorporate flashing lights;
    • Some vehicles provide haptic feedback.
  • Objectives should include security, privacy and anonymity.

Morgan: Federal research should focus on long-term policy implications, as well as transition issues such as the implications of having an inventory (fleet) of vehicles some of which are equipped with technology, and some of which are not.

Real-Time Information
Group Presenter: Morgan: Group focused on a discussion of the intent of “all.” Areas needing clarification:

  • All major roads;
  • Plan for areas lacking coverage;
  • A minimum standard of data accessible by all citizens;
  • Cost issues.

Group expressed the need for predictive models.

Sugimoto: In Japan, approximately 50% of automobiles have in-vehicle navigation systems. These systems receive real-time information to facilitate mobility. We are now assessing these systems to improve safety. We are not sure if we can increase the 50% deployment range. This has implications for the U.S. In the U.S., these systems are pay services. Customer willingness to pay is critical in influencing market penetration. In Japan, we currently have deployed vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems.

Morgan: Private manufacturer-based networks could evolve in which, for example, Fords could communicate with other appropriately equipped Fords, but not with Chryslers. A clear federal role would be to preclude this type of evolution.

Averkamp: What do you see as the policy implications for these potentially private, brand-specific networks?

Morgan: I have not thought about the issue.

Iwasaki: Traffic volume and speed are not the only important issues. There is a need for lane-specific data, which is difficult to collect.

Real-Time Information/Institutional Issues Group

Real-Time Information
Group Presenter: Button: We also examined Government versus private sector roles. Our conclusion is that the private sector should provide premium services, and the public sector should concentrate on delivering basic services.

Another Federal role could be facilitating the collection of information, and achieving economies of scale.

We note that this goal paper was longer and more detailed than others. We recommend limiting the number of strategies.

The consensus of the group is that the Government should not set standards, but promote the development and adoption of standards.

Another Federal role could be to facilitate intermodal transfer (sharing) of information.

2 nd Group Presenter: Flemer: On Steve Albert’s behalf reports on the needs of rural areas (Mr. Albert had departed). A Federal role is defining minimum information standards. While urban areas can generate large amounts of information, rural areas in general, have very limited surveillance capabilities.

Averkamp: What is the Federal role in promoting these services?

Button: The role should be education and dissemination, to include objective (i.e., balanced and unbiased) public relations about the limitations of ITS applications.

Row: Private sector data collectors and providers claim they have a lot of information, but it is a very small fraction of what is needed.

Lund: Is there a built-in evaluation process to assess how valuable this information is?

Button: Evaluation is a good idea, but also difficult to implement. The multimodal transportation network is in a state of constant change.

Institutional Issues
Group Presenter: Flemer:

  • The Federal Government should not pursue joint funding opportunities.
  • The first Federal role should be to catalogue the institutional issues and barriers, and then catalogue models that successfully address the barriers.
  • Steve Albert (a member of this group) emphasized that an effective approach goes beyond breaking down barriers. Organizations have to be reengineered as well.
  • Federal regulations should be reviewed to assess their support of, or impediments to deployment of ITS applications.
  • Education and training were discussed.
    • Existing training materials should be reviewed to determine their suitability for available training time in most agencies.

Sussman: Should this be done explicitly by the Federal Government?

Foxx: The key issue is the customization (tailoring) of training. State and local agencies have very limited time for their staffs to undergo training.

Row: One of the approaches we are examining is improving the partnerships with others who conduct the training.

Flemer: Randy Iwasaki has pointed out data quality requirements for performance measurement are not the same as those needed for supporting system operations. Will performance measurement requirements in Federal law place an onerous burden on smaller agencies? Such agencies will need near-term, low cost options.

Environment/Integrated Payment Systems Group

Environment Group Report
Group Presenter: Averkamp:
Little is understood about the environmental impacts of ITS. Some options for the Federal role:

  • Start cataloguing what is known;
  • Collect additional/new information, in part by leveraging programs like the Urban Partnerships;
  • Federal Government should serve as a clearinghouse;
  • In addition to collecting new data, the Federal role should involve compiling data from existing studies.

The group examined the appropriate scope of evaluations. Is air quality adequate or should areas be expanded to include noise pollution and water quality?

The group consensus is that noise pollution is beyond the purview of the JPO, but water quality should be included. ITS technologies can provide maintenance crews with techniques to improve the efficiency of snowplowing operations so that spreading of anti-icing chemicals can be minimized.

Row: Steve Albert also mentioned maintenance decision support tools that provide weather data to snow plow operators.

Iwasaki: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must be a partner in this endeavor.

Sussman: What is the group’s position on greenhouse gases resulting from carbon emissions?

Iwasaki: Clean air is part of the agenda, including carbon emissions.

Averkamp: The group believes that the JPO should not be involved in modeling the impact of rising sea levels. There is, however, a major role for ITS in emergency evacuations caused by severe weather.

Button: Carbon taxes and carbon trading are coming from Europe. Assume the price of gasoline goes to $7.50/gallon. What can ITS do to reduce the use of gasoline?

Averkamp: The Government should tax vehicles on the basis of vehicle miles traveled, not per gallon purchased.

Iwasaki: If prices were to rise to that level, transportation managers would need to provide much better transit schedule information and related services. The last significant reduction in congestion in the Bay Area ( San Francisco) was during the “dot com” business crash in year 2000. Commuters became job seekers, but they traveled during off-peak times.

Sussman: I believe Ken Button is advocating a systems approach to looking at these issues.

Averkamp: There would be a Federal role in promoting a systems approach.

Electronic Payment Systems
Group Presenter: Averkamp:
This technology is better developed than others we looked at. We see the Federal Government should be a clearinghouse and facilitator.

If we transition to alternative fuels, transportation funding models must move away from a tax per gallon.

  • The Federal Government should collect and disseminate lessons learned from areas that have demonstrated leadership in this area, like Utah.
  • The Federal Government should coordinate the development of national standards, and use test beds for demonstrations. As noted previously, the Urban Partnership sites should be considered for some of the initiatives.

Iwasaki: A major issue will be market penetration. How do we get more transponders in automobiles?

k. Programmatic Roles: ITS JPO, Private Sector, Public Sector

Sussman: The handout titled “Questions for Discussion/Breakout Groups (3)” (Enclosure 13) lists possible JPO activities and roles. I believe we have already covered this topic as we proceeded through the today’s discussions. Comments are welcome on any areas that might have been overlooked.

l. Consolidation of Views and Recommendations

Sussman: Today’s discussion on ITS and the JPO has focused on two major areas: the current view and the future. What is the relationship between the two: incremental change or radical shift?

Row: We can work both views. There are many opportunities in current activities to incorporate some of these future plans. The Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) Initiative is a good venue for measuring environmental impacts. But the strong emphasis on environmental impacts is new.

Sussman: The next steps are for the JPO staff and me to synthesize the advice we received today, and distill the major issues into a short paper. A possible next meeting would be in July, followed by New York City during the ITS America/ ITS World Congress in November.

Foxx: You might consider the end of June, early July meeting in conjunction with the TRB mid-year session in Baltimore.

  1. Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 4:07 p.m.

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

Shelley Row
Designated Federal Official
ITS Program Advisory Committee

Joseph Sussman
ITS Program Advisory Committee