Congress’s next surface transportation authorization bill should include $1.5 to $2 billion annually in funding for the deployment of large-scale ITS demonstration projects.
ITS will not reach critical mass unless the United States begins to fund large-scale research, demonstration, test and evaluation (RDT&E) projects, as opposed to small “one-off” projects that currently, collectively, do not comprise a system. Moreover, rather than funding almost all ITS deployments through individual states, it would be better for the United States to also fund larger-scale consortia from the federal level. This would address the problem that ITS deployments in the United States tend to be sporadic, incremental one-off deployments scattered locally around the country and move the United States towards funding demonstration and deployment of large-scale, nationally integrated ITS systems. Congress should fund these RDT&E efforts in a number of areas, including: 1. Development of a nationwide real-time traveler information system; 2. Developing large scale platforms to conduct real-time analysis of traffic-related data from millions of vehicles; 3. Real-time transit information systems, including “peer-to-peer” transit systems; 4. Development and deployment of smart traffic signal systems that respond to vehicles’ presence; 5. Improved incident response and traffic operations management systems; 6. Testing to fully prove the viability of a user-miles traveled pricing system; 7. Freight monitoring systems (for example, real-time weigh stations); 8. Model implementations of IntelliDrive in several large U.S. cities.