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US releases ITS strategic plan

07 January 2015

The US Department of Transportation has released its Intelligent Transportation Systems Strategic Plan 2015-2019", a document that aims to provide a comprehensive, overarching structure regarding how the American federal transportation authorities plan to address road transportation technology shifts now underway. The strategy draws upon input from across more than 285 stakeholder groups, including manufacturers, industry associations, advocacy groups, professional peer groups, state-level transportation authorities, and other government agencies.

The USDOT captures the various aspects of ITS under five themes expressed as broad goals:

  • Enable safer vehicles and roadways,
  • Enhance mobility,
  • Limit environmental impacts,
  • Promote innovations, and
  • Support transportation system information sharing.

The USDOT proposes to address these priorities through six program categories:

  • Connected vehicles,
  • Automation,
  • Emerging capabilities,
  • Enterprise data,
  • Interoperability, and
  • Accelerating deployment.

Acknowledging the conceptual and overlapping nature of these themes and categories, the report serves to identify the full spectrum of road transport components that are and will continue to be impacted by advances in technology, ranging from infrastructure to vehicle interactivity to “technologies that transfer some amount of vehicle control from the driver to the vehicle”.

While in some ways less of a plan than of a vision, the document repeatedly expresses a conceptual notion where “we can balance individual decision making and system-optimal transportation management”. In other words, the USDOT envisions a future where vehicles interact within a collaborative system to promote safer and more efficient road transportation.

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