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New ITIF report shows the USA is falling behind in the international ITS revolution

January 26, 2010

New ITIF report shows the USA is falling behind in the international ITS revolution

A new report will be released tomorrow (Wednesday, January 27) that will highlight the increasing disparity between foreign industrialized nations and the USA regarding the current use of new technologies to address major transportation congestion, safety, and environmental problems. At a forum at its Washington DC headquarters, researchers from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will issue the report and discuss its findings with domestic and international transportation experts. The report, Explaining International IT Application Leadership: Intelligent Transportation Systems, discusses why the USA has fallen behind in developing intelligent transportation technology, while nations such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and others have made significant progress and advances.

According to the report, “Many think improving a country’s transportation system solely means building new roads or repairing aging infrastructure. But the future of transportation lies not in concrete and steel, but in a network of sensors, microchips, and communication devices that collect and disseminate information about the functioning of the transportation system.” The report also introduces specific recommendations relating to how the US government can accelerate the deployment of ITS to remain economically competitive with other industrialized nations.

“What ITS do is empower actors in the transportation system – from commuters, to highway and transit authorities, even down to the actual traffic lights themselves – with actionable information, that is, intelligence, to make better-informed decisions, whether it’s choosing which route to take, when to travel, or whether to mode-shift; how to optimize traffic signals; where to build new roadways; or how to hold providers of transportation services accountable for results,” explains Stephen Ezell, ITIF lead report author.

Left: Stephen Ezell, ITIF lead report author of the new report, Explaining International IT Application Leadership: Intelligent Transportation Systems

“The report should be a serious wake-up call to our nation’s transportation leaders and policy makers as to why the USA is not staying competitive in the international market,” adds Scott Belcher, president and CEO of ITS America. “Other industrialized nations have learned that a major key to transportation efficiency and economic growth is by deploying ITS to allow for the safe and easy movement of goods and people. Other nations are already using intelligent transportation technology to reduce traffic collisions, congestion and carbon emissions. Imagine being able to receive real-time information about traffic congestion or incidents on freeways, or collision-avoidance warnings from autonomous vehicle sensors when crashes appear imminent. In many other industrialized parts of the world, this is already happening.”

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