Administrator Research & Innovative Technology Administration

Dr. Ashok G. Kaveeshwar

Thank you, Dr. Walton, for your very kind introduction.

On behalf of President George W. Bush, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, and all of us at the Research and Innovative Technology Administration…, congratulations to ITS America, ITS Japan and ERTICO on a highly successful 12 th World Congress on ITS.

This year was my first opportunity to participate in the World Congress as a representative of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

It has been a pleasure to be here in this wonderful city of San Francisco and to meet many of you. It has been an eye-opening experience as well.

The exciting technologies on display this week are vital for improving safety, reducing congestion, and increasing the ability of travelers to communicate and access critical information in real time.

While many new technologies are already being applied to our transportation systems, it is clear that the benefits of ITS are limited only by our imagination.

From the moment I arrived until now, I have been impressed by the exhibits, the demonstrations, and the remarkable people who are making tomorrow’s ITS promises a reality today.

If there was any question whether the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, the Innovative Mobility Showcase should erase any such doubts.

Experiencing firsthand the latest ITS applications, and catching a glimpse of where these technologies are taking us in the future, was truly inspiring.

Thank-you World Congress organizers for showcasing the latest technologies and creating a forum where those of us who are committed to improving transportation through technology can come together and look at the future.

Secretary Mineta, who represented Silicon Valley in Congress for many years, knows first hand the powerful impact new technologies can have in our daily lives and in sustaining our economic well being.

Last year, he worked to create a new agency within DOT dedicated to advancing innovative technologies across all modes of transportation, and guiding these technologies from the laboratory to the field.

This new agency, for which I am privileged to serve as the first Administrator, is called the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, or RITA.

As we have seen this week, the ITS industry is nothing if not innovative. And ITS technologies hold the promise for improving transportation across the board, from reducing traffic congestion and alleviating freight backlogs to saving lives by providing real time communication between drivers, vehicles, and emergency responders.

The Bush Administration, and we at the Department of Transportation, ar e committed to ITS. We are eager to work smartly with industry, state and local governments, and our international partners as we apply these exciting technologies to our transportation enterprise.

Earlier this week you heard from Acting Federal Highway Administrator Rick Capka, who talked about how ITS technologies are already making a difference in areas such as advanced signal control, electronic toll collection, and traveler information systems. Rick also described to you how our program has been restructured to focus on major efforts that offer the most promise to improve safety, mobility and productivity.

With the passage and signing of a multi-year surface transportation bill this past August, President Bush and Congress have renewed America’s commitment to Intelligent Transportation Systems.

In addition to providing a significant level of funding for ITS research and development, the legislation lays out bold new goals and policies to ensure that the federal government is focused on producing results in areas like safety, mobility and productivity.

One of these goals is to ensure that a national 511 traveler information network is fully implemented throughout the United States by the year 2010.

Because of the focused efforts of the 511 Coalition, which is comprised of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Public Transit Association, ITS America and U.S. DOT…, we expect that half of our nation’s population will have access to 511 services by the end of next year.

The legislation also focuses on improving transportation safety through crash avoidance technologies, and enhancing the ability of emergency personnel to respond more quickly and communicate more effectively during crisis situations.

Transportation safety is an issue that is near and dear to all of us at the Department of Transportation, especially to Secretary Mineta and Acting National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Jackie Glassman, who also spoke earlier this week.

As Jackie discussed on Tuesday, one of the keys for improving safety and relieving congestion is the deployment of Vehicle Infrastructure Integration, or VII.

The implementation of this wireless communications technology, which will connect vehicles with each other and to the roadway, holds the promise of significantly reducing highway fatalities and dramatically improving mobility.

VII is but one of many exciting new applications of ITS technology that can greatly benefit our transportation system.

Part of the new policy direction for the federal ITS program is the adoption of new financing rules that will allow more public-private partnerships.

As we look ahead, it is vital that we in federal, state and local governments work closely with industry as a partner…, because it is your innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and resources that will pave the way for ITS in the future.

The future of ITS also lies in its global reach… and the global economy requires global solutions. By working co-operatively we can leverage our individual investments. The ITS World Congress is clearly an ideal forum for us to explore solutions together.

So once again I would like to congratulate ITS America, ITS Japan and ERTICO for this very successful event in San Francisco.

I have been fortunate to meet a number of key individuals within the ITS community these past few days. I look forward to having the opportunity to not only meet more of you, but engage in meaningful conversations in the coming months to learn how we can work together… to advance the reality of ITS.

As we formulate the next phase of USDOT’s ITS program, following the recently enacted legislation, we have an opportunity – indeed an obligation to re-evaluate the direction of the program.

So as I close, I would like to ask a few questions of you…

Where do you see ITS going in the future? (pause)

 What are the next important steps for ITS? (pause)

 What elements of our transportation system could be best served by new ITS applications? (pause)

 Which areas have we not yet considered? (pause)

The answers to these questions lie with you. You are the creative power behind ITS. This week’s World Congress was a great step forward in this discussion.

It has been a privilege to join you this week, and to address you this afternoon. It cannot be said enough, that this year’s World Congress was a success because of you, who attended and participated.

I am already looking forward to next year in London.

I started my remarks by saying that the benefits of ITS are limited only by our imagination.

I hope that my agency, RITA, and the entire Department, will be a place where your imaginations and dreams about the future of ITS can be freely expressed, partner to partner.

Only by working together will the true potential of ITS be realized.

Thank you… See you in London!

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