Transportation

Government ID programs such as the Department of Defense’s Common Access Card and the Transportation Worker Identification Credential should move to an open architecture that allows electronic wallet applications to be housed on the card.

One key to driving innovation through procurement is to support open standards architectures. By adopting technologies that are interoperable with non-federal applications, federal procurement can help drive widespread adoption. An open architecture would allow these cards to house electronic wallet applications that would, for example, let employees load a contactless payment application issued by transit authorities so they would not have to have a separate SmarTrip card to ride the Washington, D.C. metro system (or those of other transit authorities). The functionality would be integrated into one single card, which could also support other functions, such as a debit card to pay for meals in government cafeterias or fees in parking garages.

Congress should repurpose transportation funds to intelligent transportation systems, in part by tying federal surface transportation funding to states’ actual improvements in transportation system performance.

Given intelligent transportation systems’ (ITS) ability to maximize the capacity of existing highway infrastructure, expanding funding for ITS is the optimal use of highway transportation funding. Yet states have significantly underinvested in ITS, preferring to fund traditional transportation investments such as new highway capacity. As one GAO study on the state of ITS deployment in the United States found, “unfortunately, information on benefits does not have a decisive impact on the final investment decisions made by state and local officials.” Repurposing transportation funds to ITS systems that have a far greater cost-benefit return would spur innovation and improve performance of the transportation system. If the federal government tied federal surface transportation funding to states’ actual improvements in transportation system performance, it would encourage states to deploy the intelligent transportation systems delivering the greatest bang for the buck.

Explaining International IT Application Leadership: Intelligent Transportation Systems

January 27, 2010 - 9:00am - 10:30am
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
1101 K Street NW
610A
Washington
DC
20005

Until now, most advances in transportation relied on physical materials—more cement and steel. But going forward significant progress in surface transportation will depend increasingly on making the system more intelligent, through the use of sensors, computers and communication technology. In short, IT can play a key role in the safety, efficiency and convenience of transportation, including for cars, trucks and mass transit. Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) include on-board, real-time traffic and transit information, new types of road pricing, adaptive traffic signal timing, and better safety warning systems.

Many nations have recognized the importance of ITS and as such made significant progress in deploying ITS to improve their transportation systems. Unfortunately, the United States trails world leaders in the deployment of ITS, mitigating the ability of these emerging technologies to enhance safety, mobility, and convenience for American motorists.

In this event, ITIF releases a new report, Explaining International Leadership in Intelligent Transportation Systems, which will identify the leading countries in intelligent transportation systems, explain why the leaders have made the progress they have (and conversely why the United States lags so far behind), and offer recommendations for how federal and state governments can accelerate the deployment of intelligent transportation systems.

This will be the third in a series of five ITIF events that will explore international IT application leadership.

Explaining International IT Application Leadership: Intelligent Transportation Systems

January 27, 2010
A new ITIF report to offer a set of policy recommendations for how federal and state governments can take steps to accelerate the deployment of intelligent transportation systems.

 Until now, most advances in transportation relied on physical materials—more cement and steel. But going forward significant progress in surface transportation will depend increasingly on making the system more intelligent, through the use of sensors, computers and communication technology. In short, IT can play a key role in the safety, efficiency and convenience of transportation, including for cars, trucks and mass transit. Read more »

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