Government Technology

Intelligent Transportation Systems: U.S. Not Leading the Pack



January 27, 2010 By

Today the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released a report, Explaining International IT Application Leadership: Intelligent Transportation Systems, and will hold a forum for domestic and international transportation experts to discuss the implications of the findings.

The report highlights the increasing disparity between foreign industrialized nations and the United States regarding the current use of new technologies to address major transportation congestion, safety and environmental problems.

"The report should be a serious wake-up call to our nation's transportation leaders and policymakers as to why the U.S. is not staying competitive in the international market," said Scott Belcher, president and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) of America. "Other industrialized nations have learned that a major key to transportation efficiency and economic growth is developing intelligent transportation systems to allow for the safe and easy movement of goods and people."

Improving a nation's transportation system involves more than building new roads and repairing old infrastructure. The future of transportation includes networks of sensors, microchips, cameras, vehicle probes and devices to disseminate information in real time to the masses.

Here are a few of the countries that are leading the way in ITS development and some of their strengths:

Japan:

  • fixed devices and sensors imbedded in roadways;
  • mobile probes; 
  • vehicle information and communication system linking navigational systems in cars to real-time traffic information; and 
  • electronic toll collection.

South Korea:

  • real-time traffic information provisions;
  • advanced public transportation information systems;
  • electronic fare-pay and toll collections system called T-money;
  • vehicle message signs with interactive graphic maps; and 
  • traffic broadcasting station.

Singapore:

  • electronic road pricing and prepaid stored-value smartcards;
  • nationwide deployment of adaptive computerized traffic signals;
  • a fleet of 5,000 taxis which act as vehicle probes to collect traffic information; and
  • parking guidance system for all public parking areas throughout the city.

Other countries making significant advances in ITS are Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom. While the limited land mass of each of these countries has played a major role in making transportation efficiency a top priority, policy factors appear much more important in explaining international leadership in ITS. The countries listed above all have clear and comprehensive nationwide visions for what ITS should look like in their respective countries.

To be sure, the United States is not completely lacking in the area of ITS and has many pockets of strength in different regions and cities across the nation. However, the U.S. does not have a national ITS vision and lacks federal-level funding. While states have their own ideas of efficient traffic systems, a federally led approach needs to be put in place to help with reorganization.

 


| More

Comments

Patty Michaud    |    Commented January 28, 2010

Thanks for your article- and I'd like to highlight a bright spot: Washington State is a national leader in using technology to operate roadways more efficiently. Starting this summer, innovative traffic technology, called smarter highways, will be activated on three of Seattle's busiest corridors. Smarter highways feature a network of sensors, traffic cameras and overhead electronic signs that will automatically alert drivers when a lane is closed ahead and adjust the speed limit to slow traffic before it reaches backed up or blocked traffic. visit: www.smarterhighways.com

Patty Michaud    |    Commented January 28, 2010

Thanks for your article- and I'd like to highlight a bright spot: Washington State is a national leader in using technology to operate roadways more efficiently. Starting this summer, innovative traffic technology, called smarter highways, will be activated on three of Seattle's busiest corridors. Smarter highways feature a network of sensors, traffic cameras and overhead electronic signs that will automatically alert drivers when a lane is closed ahead and adjust the speed limit to slow traffic before it reaches backed up or blocked traffic. visit: www.smarterhighways.com

Patty Michaud    |    Commented January 28, 2010

Thanks for your article- and I'd like to highlight a bright spot: Washington State is a national leader in using technology to operate roadways more efficiently. Starting this summer, innovative traffic technology, called smarter highways, will be activated on three of Seattle's busiest corridors. Smarter highways feature a network of sensors, traffic cameras and overhead electronic signs that will automatically alert drivers when a lane is closed ahead and adjust the speed limit to slow traffic before it reaches backed up or blocked traffic. visit: www.smarterhighways.com

Jocelyn Mamchur    |    Commented January 29, 2010

One important consideration when evaluating ITS technologies is to recognize that their implementation is highly dependent on the nature of the region (ie; density, land mass, decision makers, funding). It would seem that for the most part, comparing North American ITS applications to those seen in Europe or Asia, is essentially comparing apples to oranges.

National interest in ITS applications appears to be growing. I believe that as America's infrastructure reaches capacity, transportation leaders and policy makers will become more receptive to ITS as a means to "expand" on existing infrastructure. I think it is also worth noting that the US has been recognized as a leader in specific ITS applications related to emergency operations management and transit applications.

That being said, your article provides a good summary of ITS applications abroad, and highlights the need for a push to decision makers in the US to recognize the importance of funding ITS technologies as a means of growth and sustainability.

Jocelyn Mamchur    |    Commented January 29, 2010

One important consideration when evaluating ITS technologies is to recognize that their implementation is highly dependent on the nature of the region (ie; density, land mass, decision makers, funding). It would seem that for the most part, comparing North American ITS applications to those seen in Europe or Asia, is essentially comparing apples to oranges.

National interest in ITS applications appears to be growing. I believe that as America's infrastructure reaches capacity, transportation leaders and policy makers will become more receptive to ITS as a means to "expand" on existing infrastructure. I think it is also worth noting that the US has been recognized as a leader in specific ITS applications related to emergency operations management and transit applications.

That being said, your article provides a good summary of ITS applications abroad, and highlights the need for a push to decision makers in the US to recognize the importance of funding ITS technologies as a means of growth and sustainability.

Jocelyn Mamchur    |    Commented January 29, 2010

One important consideration when evaluating ITS technologies is to recognize that their implementation is highly dependent on the nature of the region (ie; density, land mass, decision makers, funding). It would seem that for the most part, comparing North American ITS applications to those seen in Europe or Asia, is essentially comparing apples to oranges.

National interest in ITS applications appears to be growing. I believe that as America's infrastructure reaches capacity, transportation leaders and policy makers will become more receptive to ITS as a means to "expand" on existing infrastructure. I think it is also worth noting that the US has been recognized as a leader in specific ITS applications related to emergency operations management and transit applications.

That being said, your article provides a good summary of ITS applications abroad, and highlights the need for a push to decision makers in the US to recognize the importance of funding ITS technologies as a means of growth and sustainability.


Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Better security. Better government.
Powering security at all levels of government with simpler, more connected IT.
Cybersecurity in an "All-IP World" Are You Prepared?
In a recent survey conducted by Public CIO, over 125 respondents shared how they protect their environments from cyber threats and the challenges they see in an all-IP world. Read how your cybersecurity strategies and attitudes compare with your peers.
Maintain Your IT Budget with Consistent Compliance Practices
Between the demands of meeting federal IT compliance mandates, increasing cybersecurity threats, and ever-shrinking budgets, it’s not uncommon for routine maintenance tasks to slip among state and local government IT departments. If it’s been months, or even only days, since you have maintained your systems, your agency may not be prepared for a compliance audit—and that could have severe financial consequences. Regardless of your mission, consistent systems keep your data secure, your age
View All

Featured Papers