Momentum: Issue #23

July 8, 2019


Referencing the ongoing struggle of tens of thousands of roadway fatalities each year, including estimates indicating a sharp increase in cyclist and pedestrian fatalities in 2018, ITS America on June 25 called for the upcoming FAST Act reauthorization to improve the safety and efficiency of the U.S. transportation system by integrating technology into infrastructure and mobility.

In addition to releasing its reauthorization platform, Moving People, Data and Freight: Safer. Greener. Smarter, ITS America President & CEO Shailen Bhatt testified the same day at the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety’s hearing “Examining Technological Innovations in Transportation.”

The platform bridges new infrastructure technologies and new modes of mobility at the state and local levels with federal policymaking. Moving People, Data, and Freight first and foremost prioritizes policies that improve the safety of the nation’s transportation system.

“We have an epidemic of fatalities on our roadways, and I believe technology is the best tool in our toolbox to reduce this epidemic,” Bhatt said.  

Bhatt noted the association’s focus is policy that expands investment in technology; accelerates connected and automated vehicle technologies; and encourages new modes and models of transportation, including micro-mobility options.

On the safety front, he referenced life-saving V2X (Vehicle to Everything) technologies; the importance of preserving the 5.9GHz spectrum for transportation safety critical communications; and the need for funding to safeguard critical transportation systems that are more reliant than ever on connectivity to communicate and exchange data from cybersecurity threats.

ITS America also calls for establishing a Mobility on Demand (MOD) program that advances an integrated network of reliable transportation modes and options available to all.

“From Lincoln (NE) to Los Angeles, the public and private sectors along with researchers are working together, using technologies to develop solutions that allow people to seamlessly move from place to place.

“The next reauthorization holds the key to unlocking the 21st century of transportation in this country,” Bhatt said. “From mobility and infrastructure improvements to eliminating the epidemic of roadway fatalities that claims 100 people every day.”

Bhatt was joined by Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) and ITS America Advocacy Trust Member Steve Ingracia. 

“Technological innovation is happening at NDOT and nationwide across all DOTs,” said Ingracia. 

“We are continually looking for ways to incorporate technology into what we build. The Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) federal grant just awarded to NDOT, in partnership with the Wyoming and Utah DOTs, will advance technologies that improve mobility and safety across the multi-state I80 corridor,” he continued.

“This project will build upon Wyoming’s successful connected vehicle pilot program to increase the flow of information to freight haulers and will ultimately improve safety along I-80.”

Bhatt’s testimony is available here; Ingracia’s testimony is available here.


Short Job description/Role Responsibility: Our team builds digital reservation systems for the parking industry through voice technology and artificial intelligence, making it possible to reserve and find parking in your car, using your voice.

Current or previous #ITS Project: Integrating smart parking with smart cities.

Accomplishments: Launched a successful marketplace pilot in Los Angeles for the AirBnB of parking, built a digital reservation system on conversational interfaces with voice capabilities for the parking industry and constructed a 40 acre property that is entirely off the grid.

What’s the future of #ITS look like to you? #ITS will be the nucleus of how we move into more futuristic modes of transportation, how we create efficiencies within smart cities and how we communicate data between entities to increase safety and decrease congestion.

Favorite place to travel: Anywhere with solitude, trees and the ocean.

Hidden Talent: Helicopter Pilot

If you weren’t working in Transportation industry you would: Become more involved in the political realm.