Momentum: Issue #35

December 23, 2019


Even though the ITS America team is focused on the future and gearing up for what proposes to be a very busy 2020 – not the least of which is planning for the ITS World Congress’ return to North America – it is important to reflect on what we have accomplished over the last year.

Thanks to our members, ITS America continues to be a leading voice for deploying intelligent transportation technologies to save lives, improve mobility, promote sustainability and increase productivity. Thank  you for your continued hard work and commitment!


Saving the Spectrum – V2X

More than 20 years ago, ITS America petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allocate what is now known as the 5.9GHz band for transportation safety critical communications. Today, the safety spectrum is at risk, and preserving all 75 megahertz for lifesaving V2X technologies is one of ITS America’s top priorities. Here are some of this year’s highlights:  

  • With support from the V2X Task Force, ITS America filed several sets of comments with the FCC and DOT related to Vehicle-to-Everything technologies.
  • Shailen Bhatt testified in February 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.”
  • As part of ITS America’s continued advocacy on V2X communications and preserving the 5.9GHz spectrum, the Safety Spectrum Coalition, of which ITS America is a founding member, co-hosted House and Senate briefings in May on the importance of preserving the 5.9GHz spectrum for transportation communications.
  • ITS America co-hosted with Squire, Patton Boggs a briefing during Infrastructure Week in May to continue calling attention to this issue. In addition to a panel that included Bhatt and ITS America members Cisco, NYCDOT, NREL and Qualcomm, it also featured remarks from former Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater and former House T&I Chairman Bill Shuster.
  • ITS America sent letters that were entered into hearing records (House Committees on Energy and Commerce; Transportation and Infrastructure; Science, Space, and Technology; and Senate Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Environment and Public Works) that underscored the potential for V2X to save lives, reduce crashes, increase mobility, and move toward a more sustainable transportation system.
  • ITS America worked with the Auto Alliance and five other groups over the summer to craft a statement in anticipation of FCC action on this issue. When the FCC put out its proposal in November to give away much of the 5.9 band, we issued that statement plus a more aggressive statement from Bhatt, which ran in multiple news stories.
  • Earlier this month, Bhatt met with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Commissioner Jessica Rosenwercel, and staff for Commissioner O’Rielly, continuing to make the case for preserving the entire 5.9GHz band for transportation safety critical communications.   

FAST Act Reauthorization & Smart Infrastructure

FAST Act authorization expires on September 30, 2020. One of ITS America’s key tasks this year was to develop policy recommendations to Congress as it rewrites this pivotal legislation. In May, the ITS America Smart Infrastructure Task Force completed a six-month policymaking process that resulted in the association’s FAST Act reauthorization platform: Moving People, Data, and Freight: Safer. Greener. Smarter.

  • The platform bridges new infrastructure technologies and new modes of mobility at the state and local levels with federal policymaking. It includes a policy to safeguard critical transportation infrastructure from cybersecurity threats, the buildout of alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure, establishes a Mobility-on-Demand program, supports renewable systems for transportation use, maintains congestion pricing strategies and programs, and calls for freight port technology investments.
  • Shailen Bhatt officially introduced the platform at a hearing in June before the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House Auto Caucus.
  • Smart Infrastructure Task Force co-chair and San Francisco County Transportation Authority Executive Director Tilly Chang testified on our reauthorization platform in September before the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Automated Vehicles

The House and Senate committees are working on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to develop a self-driving car bill.  Because it is important that ITS America and member priorities are considered, and as USDOT considers regulatory changes for automated vehicles, ITSA Board Chair Malcolm Dougherty reconstituted the Automated Vehicle Task Force with a focus on subcommittees, which will give the task force increased bandwidth to tackle new issues including cybersecurity, privacy, and rulemaking for automated vehicles.

The task force created subcommittees to focus on key areas: Federal, State & Local Roles; Cybersecurity & Privacy; Safety Evaluation Reports and Rulemaking; Resources for NHTSA; and Exemptions.

  • The Federal, State, and Local Roles Subcommittee led a policymaking process in October to update the association’s federal, state, and local roles automated vehicle policy.
  • In November, the Cybersecurity and Privacy Subcommittee kicked off the association’s automated vehicle cybersecurity and privacy policymaking process.
  •  In addition, ITS America finalized and released a white paper “Designing the Future of Transportation for People with Disabilities” that examined the impact of automated vehicles on people with disabilities. We worked with Automotive News to place the following story, which ran the day we released the report.


Late last year, ITS America relaunched its Cybersecurity Task Force. Throughout this year, the task force continued its work focusing on promoting security in an increasingly connected future. Some highlights include:

  • Hosting an Executive Forum, “Securing the Transportation Network,” which brought together high-level producers and managers of intelligent mobility technologies on U.S. roadways in Washington, D.C. to discuss the adoption of a robust, layered approach to cybersecurity.
  • Developing a best practices report on the conclusions drawn from the executive forum (to be released in 2020).
  • Updating an ITS America 2014 report titled “Connected Vehicle Assessment – Cybersecurity and Dependable Transportation.”
  • The task force co-chairs worked with the Smart Infrastructure Task Force to develop a cybersecurity section as part of the association’s FAST Act Reauthorization Platform and worked with the AV Task Force to ensure that cybersecurity threats continue to be identified and addressed during the deployment of automated vehicles.

Mobility on Demand (MOD) Alliance

ITS America launched the Mobility on Demand Alliance in April 2019, propelling Mobility on Demand to the forefront of the transportation technology and infrastructure landscape. With more than 50 members, the MOD Alliance also added new members in 2019 that are leaders in the mobility space, including Via, Lyft and Uber. Highlights include:

  • Before April’s launch, Shailen Bhatt introduced the association’s FAST Act reauthorization Mobility on Demand campaign to Congress in a January roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill, followed by ITS America members meeting with staff for key congressional committees (House Transportation & Infrastructure; Senate Environment & Public Works; Commerce, Science, & Transportation; and Banking, Housing, & and Urban Affairs).
  • Launched the MOD Policy Working Group, which is focused on MOD legislation and reauthorization of the FAST Act
  • Hosted two successful MOD Forums (June in Washington, D.C. and December in Los Angeles) focused on key MOD topics, including MOD federal policy and data sharing
  • Developed a MOD/MaaS Alliance partnership and launched the first of the MOD Market Workshop series with an event on Insurance in Europe (September) and began planning for the bookend event to be held in the United States in early 2020
  • Released the MOD Matters thought leadership video series and social media effort, focused on members and others’ insights on MOD building blocks
  • Staged the implementation of an annual State of Mobility on Demand Survey and Analysis to evaluate the emergence of MOD, how it is being understood, implemented and adopted by practitioners and the public (release in 2020)
  • Include bullet on barrier free research study in partnership with AVA and AARP (get details from Amy)
  • Laid the groundwork to launch MOD Forums in four to six states/regions around the country in 2020
  • Partnered with the Autonomous Vehicle Alliance and AARP to research and assess the need for barrier-free vehicle access. Also known as Universal Design, this concept is evolving due to emerging mobility trends such as Mobility on Demand as well as automated and connected vehicles. The study, planned for 2020, will assess needs among different customers and potential market opportunity.

ITS America continues to broaden its media profile

The work we did in 2018 to develop and execute a more proactive, targeted media strategy to support our advocacy efforts – including introducing the new CEO to influential media – continued to pay off this year.  Reporters covering important issues such as V2X communications in the 5.9GHz band and mobility have reached out to ITS America as they compile their stories. In one case, an introductory ‘get to know you’ meeting with the new transportation reporter at CQ/Roll Call, who wasn’t aware of the implications that would result if 5.9GHz band wasn’t preserved for safety critical communications, wrote a long-form story that appeared in dozens of publications in addition to CQ Magazine and Roll Call. Links to that piece, along with a few others on the 5.9 issue, are below.

We also provided guests on several podcasts this year – if you didn’t see them on our social media channels, you can tune in below!

And, we are very excited about a potential partnership for next year with the BBC on how technology is transforming transportation.  We are in discussions now to put together a plan for a series of three-minute mini documentaries about mobility in the U.S to be released in mid-2020.

On the social media front, we continued to expand our digital footprint this year. In addition to the statistics below, we created two new Twitter accounts this year @theMODAlliance and @ITSWC2020.

  • Facebook: 4,186 followers (up from 3,637 last year)
  • Twitter: 9,060 (up from 8,333 followers last year)
  • LinkedIn – corporate page: 6,728 followers (up from 5,104 last year)


ITS America sets new membership record

ITS America continues to lead the way on issues impacting the future of mobility, and that leadership is resulting in a wave of new members and more robust member engagement. This year, we built on our Executive Forum series (specific events noted in previous sections) to provide members more opportunities to participate in topical discussions with industry leaders and launched our new Data Series, which will continue throughout 2020. Some membership highlights include:

  • Added 33 new members – private-sector companies invested in the future of advanced technology, smart mobility and infrastructure, including Amazon Web Services, HERE, Michelin, Lyft, Uber, Via; public agencies such as the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and Ohio Turnpike Authority; and several state DOTs.
  • Continued our member webinar series on such topics as cybersecurity, flash technologies, geolocation, and CAV planning
  • Sent Issues #10 – #35 of our bi-monthly member newsletter, Momentum, which included member news, media pieces, and event and calendar notices. Open rates remained strong, landing in the 19-23% range.
  • Created strategic partnerships with the following organizations to further our mission, increase membership and drive advocacy goals:
    • Prospect SV
    • Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
    • Autonomous Vehicle Association
    • National Governors Association

ITS America hosts successful annual meeting in Washington; gears up for LA2020

Thanks to our members, exhibitors and all participants, the 2019 annual meeting in Washington, D.C. was a rousing success. In addition to the numbers noted below, this year’s meeting brought our vision to life. We heard from keynote speakers Jeff Klei, President of Continental North America, and Paul Misener of Amazon Web Services in addition to other private and public sector leaders who joined us for keynote panel discussions. Because the meeting was in Washington, we were able to engage policymakers, including House Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chair Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), who gave a terrific speech in which she reflected on the city’s fascination with emerging mobility options.

In addition, we worked with the National Governors Association to hold its training workshop for governors’ transportation advisors at the annual meeting, which gave us the opportunity to connect with these influential advisors and expose them to ITS America. And for the second year, Together for Safer Roads co-located its annual meeting with our event. Some key statistics:

  • More than 2400 attendees
  • More than 130 exhibitors
  • Six executive sessions focusing on topical issues

We are deep into planning for the next North America-hosted ITS World Congress, scheduled for October 2020 in Los Angeles. We hosted a terrific launch reception at the World Congress in Singapore (thanks to those of you who attended), which signaled the official kickoff of the Los Angeles ITSWC.  We are launching two new global programs at the ITSWC2020: a global innovation competition to highlight startups with a mobility solution that falls under the theme of Safer, Greener, Smarter; and an Emerging Leaders Program to engage university students across the world as well as high school students in the U.S. More information on these programs and programming for the 2020 World Congress, including our call for contributions and request for demonstrations interest are available online at


ITS America continues to engage and educate the ITS community

In partnership with the U.S. DOT, ITS America’s technical staff continued to engage with ITS stakeholders through a variety of webinars, workshops, meetings and technical trainings. Education and outreach were a key focus in 2019, with the goal of enabling state and local, public and private sector professionals the opportunity to receive free training and information about U.S. DOT’s latest activities as well as critical issues in the ITS industry today. Highlights of these efforts include:

  • Organized, hosted, and facilitated 10 webinars which reached more than 2,600 ITS stakeholders
  • Planned, facilitated, and delivered 14 technical trainings to ITS America state chapters across the country which reached 728 unique participants (an average of 52 participants per session)

ITS America focuses research efforts on Mobility on Demand and future trends in ITS

As part of the research support the technical staff provides for the FTA’s Mobility on Demand (MOD) program, we produced a bimonthly publication called “Mobility Rush” that highlights the latest MOD trends, news, and partnerships (bikeshare, carshare, ride-hailing, microtransit, etc.). In addition, we conducted research and produced bi-weekly reports called “ITS Insight” for the ITS Joint Program Office (JPO) on emerging ITS industry trends. Topics of interest included Autonomous Vehicles, Accessibility, Artificial Intelligence in Emergency Response, amongst others. Highlights of these efforts include:

  • Produced and distributed Mobility Rush twice a month
  • Produced and delivered 18 issues of ITS Insight briefing to ITS JPO leadership and staff

ITS America continues partnership with U.S. DOT

After many months of work and discussions with the ITS JPO, we negotiated and finalized a new Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. This IDIQ contract will allow us to continue to support the ITS JPO and FHWA on a variety of projects which will be focused on research and analysis, training and education, outreach and stakeholder engagement, and other services as needed. This IDIQ is a five-year contract which will expire in September of 2024 and has a ceiling of five million dollars over the life of the contract.   

Thank you again to our members and partners for being such an important part of the intelligent transportation community. Onward to 2020!


Name: Lindsay Shelton-Gross
Title: VP, Membership and Marketing
Company: ITS America

Short Job description/Role Responsibility: I describe myself as a “utility player.” I assist with membership recruiting, revenue tracking and communications; ITS America brand awareness; and some digital content. I also oversee event marketing and vendor relations. I am the staff liaison for ITSA’s State Chapter Council, a few member committees, marketing and advertising trades, and I occasionally do partnership/outreach work to other industries as they explore the mobility landscape. I spend a lot of evenings scraping Twitter for ITS-related news stories.  The benefit of my position is getting to work closely with almost everyone on staff on a variety of projects.

Favorite Part of working at ITSA: The people! Our staff is bright, kind, side-splittingly funny, and passionate about mobility. I’m also learning a lot from our members – I still consider myself a transportation “newbie,” but our people are fascinating, and I’m thankful for their enthusiasm and willingness to share their expertise.   

What’s the future of #ITS look like to you? A culture that values equitable multimodal options for all humans. A world that values environmentally friendly technologies and accessible transportation for all people. A commitment to lessening the unacceptable number of fatalities on our roadways.

Most looking forward to in 2020: I wouldn’t dare say anything other than the World Congress in L.A.

Family: I have two boys, age 11 and 8; I’m married to a political news producer; and we typically have at least a fish in the house.

Hobbies: I’m a rapidly-aging, somewhat-competitive volleyball player; although my team recently disbanded so my goal this year is to rejoin a club.I also volunteer for Remote Area Medical, a pop-up health clinic that provides dental and vision care. I’m a regular at art museums – when I travel, that’s my first tourist stop.  I’m a pretty avid reader, and I have a passion for World Series Champion Washington Nationals baseball club (That’s probably an understatement.) I also spend a big chunk of time at kid’s sporting events.

Favorite place to travel: I have a special place in my heart for the big skies of the western US, but I will find something to love just about anywhere in the world I am fortunate enough to see. I studied in Italy in college, and I loved experiencing Copenhagen & Singapore at the 2018 & 2019 World Congresses. I was lucky to be raised in a family that really values travel and adventure, and I’m trying to pass that along to my own kids.

Most Unusual Job you have ever had before current position: I’ve worked in a variety of industries and associations in marcomm, including government, broadcast television, and healthcare. One of my most treasured jobs was working for the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management as a communications intern – I hiked around Idaho for a summer and got paid for it.  

If you could switch jobs in your company, who would you switch with and why?: I love my position and I honestly can’t think of anyone I would switch with, but I do think that the programs office works on some interesting stuff

Karaoke Song: “Modern Love” by David Bowie, “Brass in Pocket” by the Pretenders, or most anything by the Talking Heads

Hidden Talent: If I had a talent worthy of showing off, guaranteed I would not hide it.

If you weren’t working in Transportation industry you would: I’d work as a museum docent. Or own a batting cage.