Friday, August 19, 2005 - The U.S. Department of Transportations Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) announced today that a $1.3 million federal grant has been awarded to the National Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Implementation Research Center at George Mason University to apply research and the latest technologies to improve the safety and efficiency of Americas transportation system.
The National ITS Implementation Research Center is part of the national University Transportation Centers (UTC) program, which is administered by RITA. RITA is dedicated to coordinating the Departments research and development programs and advancing innovative technology solutions to the challenges facing Americas transportation system. Grant recipients are required to provide matching funds.
UTC programs attract talented researchers and students today to engage them in creating the transportation system of tomorrow, said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. This grant demonstrates the importance of research and technology to the Departments mission of making sure that transportation continues to be an engine of economic growth for the United States well into the 21st century.
The National ITS Implementation Research Center is a consortium of Virginias three research universities George Mason, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech. The Center focuses on Intelligent Transportation Systems, which use advanced communications technologies to improve the safety of passenger vehicles and increase mobility on Americas highways and transit systems. The Center has also designed a masters program in transportation policy, operations and logistics that offers the skills and training required for todays transportation professional. More information is available at http://www.gmupolicy.net/its.
More than 75 colleges and universities throughout the United States participate in the UTC program conducting transportation research, education and technology transfer. Last year, UTC colleges and universities graduated over 1,100 students with advanced transportation-related degrees, offered almost 2,000 undergraduate and graduate transportation courses, conducted 300 research projects, and trained 32,000 practicing transportation professionals.
More information about the UTC program can be found at www.rita.dot.gov.