Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are enjoying a productive start to 2011.

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration staff is working to implement the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Strategic Research Plan, 2010 - 2014 aimed at leveraging the power of wireless communication to advance transportation safety, mobility and environmental sustainability

Last month at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 90th Annual Meeting, I unveiled a new competition for outstanding ideas called the Connected Vehicle Technology Challenge. We want to hear from people like you who have interesting ideas on utilizing wireless communications to improve the safety and efficiency of all modes of transportation. For instance, some have suggested using vehicles enabled with wireless technology to enhance truck roadside inspections, provide enhanced crash avoidance applications, offer integrated transportation financial
transaction and even make it easier for blind pedestrians to cross by intersection. These are just a few examples, and we look forward to more great ideas from innovators within the community. The top rated ideas will receive an expense paid trip to the ITS World Congress in Orlando and opportunity to showcase their idea.

Details on the Challenge can be found at www.challenge.gov.

TRB is always a time for sharing information and continuing collaborative discussions. As such, we are announcing  the mobility applications that were selected for additional development by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT’s) ITS research program from dozens of application concepts submitted by the community since August. We hope to develop high level user needs assessments for these applications so that we can prepare a concept of operations.

This is an important step because, once connected vehicle technology becomes a reality, the new network will generate a multitude of fresh data sets based on where, how and how often vehicles are travelling. This data will translate into a myriad of new applications and other opportunities.

At TRB we also announced the new ITS Joint Program Office website and the upgraded Michigan Test Bed, which is ready to test the latest connected vehicle devices in development.

At RITA, we are committed to providing information and engaging new and existing stakeholders throughout the research process. If you have questions about our programs, please contact Mike Pina at mike.pina@dot.gov. Thank you for your interest in DOT’s ITS program.

Sincerely,

Peter Appel
Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE • Washington, DC 20590 • 800.853.1351 • E-mail OST-R

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