U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Releases 5-Year ITS Strategic Research Plan Focused on Achieving New Levels of Safety


(Date: 09 March, 2010)

The U.S. DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) has released its new 5-Year ITS Strategic Research Plan, which was approved last month by the Department’s ITS Management Council and outlines the next phase of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) research in the United States. The plan “explores the potentially transformative capabilities of wireless technology to make surface transportation safer, smarter and greener and ultimately enhance livability for Americans,” according to DOT.

The goal is to bring connectivity to transportation and reduce highway crashes, drawing on expertise from researchers, vehicle manufacturers, consumer electronics and telecommunications firms, and government agencies involved in transportation. The IntelliDriveSM project is at the “core” of the plan, building on the work done in the previous Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) Program. It is described as “a multimodal initiative to support safety, mobility and environmental enhancements by providing safe, interoperable wireless connectivity between vehicles, infrastructure and passengers’ devices.” IntelliDriveSM is seen as a critical tool in addressing highway fatalities, which is the leading cause of death for people between the ages of four and 34, according to RITA. This next phase of research will determine whether IntelliDriveSM can be successfully implemented.

According to RITA, a key part of the research will examine how to effectively deliver warnings to drivers to enhance overall safety, prevent collisions, and minimize driver distraction. The plan anticipates spending up to $77 million in 2010 on multimodal research, of which $49 million will be spent on IntelliDriveSM research. An additional $14 million will be spent on technology transfer and evaluation. Additional information on IntelliDriveSM is available here.

* “This article has been brought to you as part of the cooperation between ITS America and ITS Japan.”