The Research and Innovative Technology Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation is in the midst of the first year of a five-year strategic plan for research on intelligent transportation systems (ITS). The plan “explores the potentially transformative capabilities of wireless technology to make surface transportation safer, smarter, and greener and ultimately enhance livability for Americans,” says the DOT.
|Note: Subsequent to the initial publication of this article, the US-DOT ceased using the name “Intellidrive” for its Connected Vehicle Research program|
The core of the plan is “IntelliDrive,” which the DOT describes as “a multimodal initiative to support safety, mobility, and environmental enhancements by providing safe, interoperable wireless connectivity between vehicles (autos, buses, trucks, rail, and other fleets), infrastructure, and passengers’ devices.”
“A key part of this research will examine how to effectively deliver warnings to vehicle operators — to enhance overall safety and minimize driver distraction,” explains the DOT. “In addition to core research, the five-year program also supports technology transfer and knowledge and skills development of ITS professionals throughout the country.”
The plan’s general purpose is characterized thusly…
“Imagine a world where:
- Highway crashes and their tragic consequences are significantly reduced.
- Vehicles of all types can talk to traffic signals to eliminate unnecessary stops and help people drive in the most fuel efficient manner.
- Travelers can get accurate travel time information about all modes and route options and the potential environmental impacts of their choices.
- Transportation managers have data to accurately assess multi-modal transportation system performance.”
“This vision may be closer than you think and is the focus of the Department’s next five-year ITS Strategic Research Plan. 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 the plan’s fact sheet, the ITS Research Strategic Plan assumes that the US-DOT’s ITS research program will receive the same level of funding as previous years: $100 million per year for five years. In 2010, up to $77 million will be dedicated to multimodal research and an additional $14 million to technology transfer and evaluation. IntelliDrive research comprises $49 million of the multimodal research funds.
Specifically, the ITS Research Strategic Plan outlines the following multi-year research activities:
- Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communications for Safety
- Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) Communications for Safety
- Real-Time Data Capture and Management
- Dynamic Mobility Applications
- Road Weather Management
- Applications for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis (AERIS)
- Human Factors
- Mode-Specific Research
- Exploratory Research
- Cross-Cutting Activities
Additional details regarding the 2010-2014 ITS Research Strategic Plan are available on the DOT’s ITS website.