Less than two months before thousands of transportation and technology leaders gather in Detroit, Michigan for the 21st World Congress on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), President Barack Obama today highlighted his Administration’s support for Intelligent Transportation Systems as a job creator and high-tech solution for reducing vehicle crashes and traffic gridlock.
Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) members and staff joined President Obama today at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, VA where the President toured the research and testing facility and delivered remarks on the importance of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication technology for improving safety and mobility and reducing wasted time and fuel on our nation’s roads. Introduced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the President described how connected vehicle technology will prevent crashes from happening in the first place.
“We were thrilled to join President Obama to demonstrate the latest connected vehicle technologies that are making our roads safer and our infrastructure smarter,” said ITS America President and CEO Scott Belcher. “Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technology represents the next giant leap in automotive safety, providing the ability for cars to ‘talk’ to each other and the world around them to avoid crashes. And we’re not just talking about cars talking to other cars but about cars talking to bikes, trucks talking to motorcycles, buses talking to pedestrians, and even traffic signals communicating with vehicles to help prevent crashes and reduce traffic tie-ups. Our members have been working on these technologies for years, investing billions of dollars to develop innovative solutions to our nation’s transportation and infrastructure challenges. We are excited the President recognizes the life and time-saving benefits these innovations represent."
Belcher continued, “Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children and young adults in the United States, with an annual death toll of 33,000, over 2.3 million injuries, and an economic cost of $871 billion. Traffic congestion costs Americans another $120 billion in wasted time and fuel each year, stifling economic growth and creating an additional 5.5 billion hours of delay for commuters. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that V2V and V2I communication technology could potentially prevent or reduce the impact of 80 percent of all unimpaired vehicle crashes, saving thousands of lives each year and dramatically reducing the nearly $1 trillion cost of crashes and congestion to American families and our nation’s economy. That’s a benefit we can’t live without. This life-saving technology is already operating on the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is expected to be adopted in all new vehicles thanks to collaborative efforts between the U.S. DOT and major automakers and technology leaders.
“We want to thank President Obama for his strong commitment to investing in this critical research, and look forward to working with the President and Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill with sustainable funding that will allow for continued infrastructure investment while also advancing the research and deployment of V2V, V2I and other innovations that will make our transportation system safer and smarter."
ITS America, host of this year’s ITS World Congress, is a nonprofit association representing nearly 500 companies, state and local transportation agencies, and research institutions. The World Congress will take place at Cobo Center in Detroit from Sept 7–11, drawing transportation leaders from the United States and over 65 countries to showcase the latest transportation innovations including connected and autonomous vehicles. The list of keynote speakers includes Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford and Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam.
This story was originally published by FutureStructure.