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SafeTrip-21, Innovation for a Nation in Motion, is a new initiative of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). It is designed to explore the application of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies that transfer information on traffic and travel options to and from vehicles to reduce congestion and increase safety, mobility, efficiency, and convenience.
RITA is partnering with transportation agencies, ITS technology suppliers, and the university research community to conduct field operational tests of Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) concepts to obtain user feedback that will help USDOT better focus longer term VII research and development (R&D). This all has great implications in terms of generating practical solutions to traffic management organizations seeking cost-effective innovations to mitigate traffic risks while maximizing operational efficiencies.
In addition to the traditional VII focus on automobile travel, SafeTrip-21 seeks to assess ITS technologies that can make public transit a more convenient option. SafeTrip-21 will assess both the viability and performance of advanced traveler information technologies. And, given the growing interest in road-pricing policies to alleviate congestion, another goal is to facilitate convenient electronic payment options. These measures increasingly will benefit individual travelers, including commuters and businesses, as well as boost the performance of the national transportation system.
A key component of SafeTrip-21 is providing travelers with the information they need to arrive at their destinations safely and with minimum delay. This includes information about traffic congestion ahead, roadwork zones, weather conditions, sharp curves in the road, and merging traffic that will make travel safer and improve mobility.
SafeTrip-21 seeks to accelerate implementation of ITS technologies that contribute toward transportation goals expressed by the US DOT's long-term vision for the Nation's transportation system. The program therefore seeks to expose the public, decision makers, and stakeholders to the benefits of VII concepts in real-world travel settings.
By bringing innovative technologies into an operational setting, SafeTrip-21 will enable travelers to not only experience the initial benefits of VII today but also provide a glimpse as to what is in store for the future.
In addition, USDOT can use the results of these near-term activities to modify systems that the Department will introduce over the long term.
SafeTrip-21 at the ITS World Congress and Beyond
USDOT will showcase selected technology applications at the 15th World Congress on ITS in New York City in November 2008, where ITS leaders, policymakers, and other industry professionals from more than 70 countries will gather. Attendees will have the opportunity to see SafeTrip-21 technologies in an interactive setting that demonstrates operational capabilities.
The formal SafeTrip-21 field tests and evaluations will take place from December 2008 to December 2009. The testing will focus on assessing and measuring the abilities of these technologies to yield near-term safety and efficiency benefits, as well as to contribute to solving long-term transportation problems. The field tests will provide an opportunity to see which applications work and which require further R&D.
The tests also will provide an opportunity to inform transportation decision makers about how the technologies work in the field and what safety and mobility benefits state departments of transportation might derive by providing the traveling public with improved traffic and transit information.
Learn More Online about Vehicle Infrastructure Integration
The VII Coalition, consisting of the U.S. Department of Transportation, light vehicle manufacturers, state and local governments, and their representative associations, was established to support VII research and determine the feasibility of widespread deployment of this promising set of transportation capabilities.
RITA is proud to sponsor a new website, www.vehicle-infrastructure.org, that offers interested stakeholders more background on VII and its potential applications, coalition member activities, available research, and international activities.