Momentum: Issue #13

February 19, 2019


ITS America President & CEO Shailen Bhatt testified on February 6 before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s first full committee hearing of the 116th Congress – “Winning the Race to 5G and the Next Era of Technology Innovation in the United States.” The hearing focused on steps to maintain U.S. global leadership in next-generation communications technology, spectrum needs to accelerate deployment, and new applications and services consumers can expect with 5G deployments. It also examined current efforts to modernize infrastructure siting policies and the security of 5G networks.

This was Bhatt’s third time testifying in front of Congress in less than a year. In June of last year, he appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee at its hearing on the effects of autonomous technology on U.S. infrastructure; in September, it was the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, speaking about innovation in surface transportation.

Following are several key excerpts from this month’s Senate hearing.

  • “With data speeds of 100Mbit/s or more, ultra-low latency of a few milliseconds or less, extremely high reliability, and massive capacity, 5G and other next generation technologies can spur the development of mobility innovations that will revolutionize the way people, goods, services, and information move in the 21st century.”
  • “First and foremost, it is critically important that we preserve the spectrum that has been dedicated for transportation safety critical communications in the 5.9 GHz band for vehicle to everything technologies, or V2X – this allows us to communicate with all users of our system. To be clear, I’m referring to all V2X technologies – DSRC as well as CV2X.”
  • “While V2X is available today, it only gets easier with 5G and other next generation wireless technologies. These technologies will allow vehicles to act as real-time sensors, which means we will know instantly about the state of our system. It will also allow us to protect the most vulnerable users of the system – pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, which is the number one area in which we are seeing an increase in fatalities. With high-speed communications among devices and vehicles, we can create a much safer environment in which everyone can see all users – even if they happen to be around a corner, because we will no longer have to have a line of sight. This connectivity will actually send a safety message to a vehicle to say: ‘I’m here – don’t hit me.’”
  • “The rapid development of 5G connectivity can offer new opportunities for Mobility on Demand (MOD). Increased data throughput will bring many new possibilities for MOD, including better coverage, availability, and reliability. This will allow MOD to better reach underserved areas such as first mile/last mile and transit deserts.
  • In cities, MOD offers convenient, affordable, and (in the case of bikeshare and rideshare) sustainable alternatives to driving within congested environments.  For suburban areas, MOD offers first mile/last mile accessibility, alleviating/reducing the need for locals to park at a station or drive into the city.  It provides benefits to those living in rural or more remote communities by connecting them to a bus, train, or transit/commuter station. Fleet operated ride-hailing services, for instance, could help older adults age in place and improve general accessibility to long-distance transportation, car-pooling, groceries, and medical centers.

Bhatt’s full testimony can be viewed here.


Name: Laurette Stiles
Title: Vice President – Strategic Resources
Company: State Farm Insurance

Short Job description/Role Responsibility:  Responsibility for transportation and building research, as well as customer, associate and competitor research, data analytics, and internal consulting

Accomplishments:  Have led several start up tests for the organization, and have also expanded our customer research focus and efforts

Hobbies:  Running, gardening, reading, cooking

Family:  Spouse and three adult children (UCLA, UC Davis, and IT in Atlanta, GA)

Most Unusual Job you have ever had before current position:  VP HR

If you could Switch jobs in your company, who would you switch with and why?:  I’ve had the opportunity to serve in claims, underwriting, HR and now research/analytics.  This is the best job I’ve had and I wouldn’t switch with anyone!

First car you drove?:  Toyota Camry