Monday, August 1, 2011 - The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT's) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) today announced six winners of a national competition seeking ideas for using wireless technology to enable vehicles to communicate with each other. The winning ideas may be incorporated into ongoing research on using technology to improve vehicle safety and transportation operations.
"Innovative thinking and advanced technology have become the keys to improving safety and efficiency on our roads and highways," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. "The winners of this competition have given us ideas that will help build the transportation system of the 21st century."
"The winning entries show the depth of creativity and knowledge among the American people. I congratulate the winners for their commitment to making transportation safer, greener, and easier," said RITA Administrator Peter Appel.
Entries in the Connected Vehicle Technology Challenge had to be based on an innovative use for dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), a wireless technology similar to WiFi. A DOT panel selected five entries, while the sixth winning entry received the most votes from registrants on the competition website, connectedvehicle.challenge.gov.
The following are the winning submissions:
DSRC is the basis for DOT-funded research in which a system of connected vehicles communicate safety messages, such as alerts about imminent crash situations or roadway hazards, with each other as well as surroundings, such as traffic signals and work zones. DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in an October 2010 report that wireless vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications can potentially address 81 percent of all unimpaired vehicle crashes.
"Advanced vehicle safety technologies hold the promise of significantly reducing traffic fatalities and injuries," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "As NHTSA continues to evaluate the potential for these systems, we're pleased to see so many bright and creative minds working on ways to move traffic safety into the 21st century."
The selected participants will be honored speakers at a special session at the 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transportation Systems. A representative from each selected team will receive paid registration, transportation, meals, and accommodations for the Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress, which will be held in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 16-20.