Detailed Justification for the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS): Core Program

Detailed Justification for the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS): Core Program

What Do I Need to Know Before Reading This Justification?

The funding request of $110 million remains unchanged from prior years.

What Is the Request and What Will We Get for The Funds?

FY 2012 Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS):
Core Program
Budget Request

Program Activity FY 2010 Actual FY 2012 Request ChangeFY 2010-2012
Research [80,868] [90,600] [9,732]
Technology Transfer and Evaluation [14,702] [13,900] [-802]
ITS Program Support [7,280] [5,500] [-1,780]
Total [$102,850] [$110,000 ] [$7,150]

Key actions:

  • Develop and test proven reliable multimodal vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications safety applications using dedicated short range communications to demonstrate whether a positive cost benefit analysis will support a future regulatory decision to require this technology in all new vehicles.
  • Develop, test and support deployment of smart multimodal infrastructure applications for safety, mobility and environmental sustainability purposes to allow state DOTs and other local transportation agencies to deploy and operate smart infrastructure.
  • Establish one or more a multi-source data environments to enable transformative operations efficiency and environmental sustainability for transportation managers of freeways, arterials, transit systems, maritime, and rail systems.
  • Develop and test applications that can directly measure fuel consumption and emissions using vehicle-to-vehicle wireless technology to improve environmental sustainability.

What is This Program?

Strategic Goals: The Intelligent Transportation Systems program specifically supports five of DOT's strategic goals: Safety, Environmental Sustainability, Livable Communities, Economic Competitiveness, and Organizational Excellence.

Purpose and Beneficiaries: To fulfill the research role previously outlined by Congress and in support of the USDOT strategic goals. The Intelligent Transportation Systems program consists of a multi-modal, mode-specific, and exploratory research administered as a collaborative partnership between the Intelligent Transportation Systems program and USDOT modal administrations. Beneficiaries include the traveling public, state DOTs, the automotive manufacturers, transit agencies, other local transportation agencies, private industry data providers, application developers, academia, and international transport agencies.

Partners: The Intelligent Transportation Systems program jointly conducts research with our modal partners, including:

  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
  • Maritime Administration (MARAD)
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Prior Year Accomplishments:

The Intelligent Transportation Systems program will conduct a large scale safety pilot of the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications safety technologies in approximately 2,0003,000 test vehicles in multiple geographic locations around the country to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of the safety applications. Real time data capture and management testing will be completed to validate data quality, reliability, and consistency to ensure it supports operational requirements of transportation managers and information requirements for users.

Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technical standards will be approved, and the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications test bed in Detroit, Michigan, will be upgraded to support the Safety Pilot testing. Real time data capture and management testing will be conducted to inform researchers on the best way to collect, control, and utilize real time data for performance management purposes. International standards harmonization, support of deployment through technology transfer and outreach and broadening the range of stakeholders involved in the program will also occur.

Why Is This Program Necessary?

Intelligent Transportation Systems technology solutions offer the opportunity to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries thereby improving public health; improve efficiency, reliability and mobility; and reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The travelling public, automotive manufacturers, and state and local transportation agencies will all benefit from reduced crashes, injuries, and fatalities on the U.S. transportation system. Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications safety applications are designed to increase situational awareness and reduce or eliminate crashes through data transmission that supports: driver advisories, driver warnings, and vehicle and/or infrastructure controls. With these multimodal applications for light vehicles, trucks, buses, and fleets of all kinds, Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications may potentially address approximately 80 percent of crash scenarios with unimpaired drivers, preventing tens of thousands of automobile crashes every year (further research will incorporate heavy vehicle crashes including buses, motor carriers, and rail).

The traveling public, freight movers, and state and local transportation agencies will benefit from the use of real time data applications to improve the efficiency, mobility, reliability and sustainability of the U.S. transportation system. Data generated from vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications systems can provide travelers and operators with detailed, real-time information on vehicle location, speed, emissions and other operating conditions. Thus informed travelers and commercial freight movers can use this information to improve system operations and choose optimum routing to avoid congested routes, take alternate routes, use other modes of transportation, shift to public transit, or reschedule their trips all of which can save time, fuel, and money.

Without this funding, the adoption and deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems by state and local transportation agencies would be reduced. Without federal research investments, state DOTs, transit properties, and transportation managers would not have the resources to conduct independent Intelligent Transportation Systems research and implement successful RESEARCH results.

Private sector innovations would be developed for technologies that have market demand or a clear business case. However, due to the high risk and cost involved with safety applications, there is not a clear business case for their development of vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure without federal research and government sponsored standards development to ensure interoperability.

How Do You Know the Program Works?

Effective: The amount of Intelligent Transportation Systems technology deployment by state DOT's and transit agencies has been increasing over time and our transportation system has benefitted from this deployment in terms of increased mobility, better emergency and incident response times, better overall traffic management, and increased capacity during rush hour. Additionally, private sector companies are also investing dollars into vehicle-to-vehicle RESEARCH with the expectation that the successful testing and regulatory decision by NHTSA will require vehicle-to-vehicle technology in U.S. vehicles.

Research: Positive results from our vehicle-to-vehicle proof of concept testing in Michigan have demonstrated that the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure approach is feasible and effective. Independent evaluations are conducted on all research projects and made available to the public through the USDOT library. Effective strategies and technologies are adopted such as some of the congestion initiative and rural safety applications that have been demonstrated in specific operational locations around the country.

Sub-program Balance: The Intelligent Transportation Systems RESEARCH sub-program is critical to achieving the Departmental goals. However, the Intelligent Transportation Systems program could not be properly executed and deployment could not be made possible without the Program Support and Technology Transfer and Evaluation subprograms.

Efficient: Vehicle-to-vehicle research is currently being conducted to enable a regulatory decision by the USDOT in the 2013 timeframe. The efficient planning, acquisition, demonstration and evaluation of a complex research workload are supporting this aggressive regulatory timeframe.

Why Do We Want/Need To Fund The Program At The Requested Level?

Funding Options: The current funding level is adequate to execute the scope of research outlined in the Intelligent Transportation Systems Strategic Research Plan. The Intelligent Transportation Systems program has been funded at $110 million for the entire 18 years of the program's existence. Thus, the program has matured and is programmatically operating at that level of funding. If funding were increased or decreased, the supporting procurement activities and program support would increase or decrease accordingly. However, achieving the vehicle-to-vehicle regulatory decision requires a large scale research and testing program with sufficient data to enable NHTSA to make a positive decision. If funding levels were decreased, this program could not be executed as described in the Intelligent Transportation Systems Strategic Research Plan.

History/Out Year Needs: The Intelligent Transportation Systems Strategic Research Plan has identified a multi-year scope of research based on a $110 million funded program. The out year needs are consistent with the requested funding amount.