The Intermodal Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the Transportation Equity Act of 1996 (TEA 21) clearly established a national direction for the transportation community to develop and employ new technology to modernize the nation's transportation system, improve customer service, make it safer to use and to improve the quality of life for the nation.
I am pleased to report that based on our ten years of effort the surface transportation community has responded, in ways never anticipated and to levels never expected. However, the transformation is not yet complete. The foundation has been set and the best is yet to come. ITS has made pervasive inroads in many areas from metropolitan to rural America, improving safety, weather and traveler information, vehicle design and safety, driver protection and customer service. We have successfully begun transferring technology from NASA and the Defense Industries to the transportation arena. New partnerships never before envisioned have become a way of doing business for the public and private sector and we are establishing the needed foundation for interoperability through a national architecture and nationally consistent standards. And it is making it possible for government to operate differently through new organizational arrangements, better consistency and effectiveness of service, and stretching the use of the system.
Today we want to focus on what we have done, the benefits that have accrued to the nation, showcase what we believe to be a true surface transportation success story, and offer some thoughts for the future.
The Need for Intelligent Transportation Systems Tools and Approaches
The 2000 Census reinforced, with regard to the transportation capacity, that this country cannot rely solely on building new capacity to keep up with population growth. The U.S. population grew by 32 million this last decade: California by 4.1 million, Texas by 3.8 million, Florida by 3 million, five Western and Southern states by one million or more, and 14 additional states by from 500,000 to one million.
Vehicle miles of travel (VMT) have been growing twice as fast as our population. We believe that the leveling off of VMT that we have seen over the past year is not likely to continue very long into the future, and growth in VMT will resume. Freight has been growing even faster than VMT. Freight is expected to more than double in volume over the next 20 years, and it is anticipated that eighty-two percent of those shipments will travel over the roads.
Over the last forty years the U.S. population grew by 100 million and is expected to grow by an additional 100 million the next forty. From the 1960's through the 1990's, the U.S. built the 47,000-mile Interstate Highway System, and more than 200,000 miles of additional arterials. This network provides the mobility that has made the modern American economy possible. Our productivity and competitiveness depend on it.
The strategy for the last forty years was to build the highways that were needed for the prospering economy. However, most of that construction occurred during the first half of the period. From 1956 to 1979 total highway system lane miles increased by 1.1 million miles. From 1980 to 1999, the increase was less than one-third of that - only 300,000 miles were added to the system. The fact that we have congestion is not surprising.
There is a crisis of capacity - on the highways, on buses, in the air, and on trains. What we need now is a vision of how to sustain and then enhance our mobility for the next forty years. And that vision must recognize that we need to use new tools and technologies to improve safety, while adding needed new capacity.
Technology holds the promise of improving traffic throughput by 15 percent or more in major urban corridors facing severe congestion. This includes, for example, better traveler information through 511 systems, incident management to clear accidents and assist stranded motorists, advanced traffic management centers, electronic toll systems and electronic clearance system for commercial trucking.
Of course, increasing transit must also be part of the strategy to help add capacity and reduce congestion. In 1999, transit ridership reached 9 billion for the first time since 1960. That is good news for highway and state departments of transportation have a stake in seeing it increase still more. Doubling transit ridership over the next ten years would be an ambitious goal. In some of the most transit-oriented regions, that would increase transit's share of trips to as much as twenty percent. In most other areas, a doubling would mean increasing the percentage of trips made by transit from two percent to five percent. Increasing transit ridership is a vital part of the solution, but investment in transit alone cannot solve the capacity problem. Overall, doubling transit ridership would, at best, meet ten percent of travel demand, leaving a substantial gap in the capacity needs for the remainder of passenger trips and all of freight.
Even if we can achieve the ambitious goal of meeting a total of twenty-five percent of demand through increasing transit and through technology deployment and improved operations, the remaining seventy-five percent realistically can only to be met by building additional capacity. New capacity- to remove bottlenecks, improve intermodal connections and ease congestion - will be needed throughout the country. It will be needed in areas in the Midwest and East with moderate population growth, but significantly increased traffic. It will be absolutely essential in the areas of the South and West facing rapid growth.
The Promise of Technology Being Fulfilled
I am proud of what we have accomplished in my state of Minnesota. Minnesota has a broad range of ITS technologies deployed, planned, or being tested and evaluated. Let me mention a few:
-- Statewide Road/Weather Information System (RWIS) - 86 stations statewide provide real-time pavement and atmospheric data and forecasts
-- 511 - In November of this year wireless callers will be connected to the statewide road/weather information service. Future efforts will include transit and traffic conditions
-- Statewide system of transportation operation and communication centers including computer-assisted dispatching, mobile data terminals and automatic vehicle location for the MN State patrol
-- Adaptive signal systems integrated with regional ramp metering in the Twin Cities. The ramp metering systems have improved freeway travel time 22%, reduced crashes by 24%, and improved freeway throughput by 14%
-- Automated scheduling of transit
Federal technical assistance and special deployment funding along with a skilled workforce and leadership in Minnesota helped to shape the success we have achieved.
Since 1994, when the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office in conjunction with AASHTO and ITS America began tracking and evaluating the deployment of ITS technologies and documenting their benefits, a clear pattern has begun to emerge.
As of the year 2000 for the seventy-five largest urban areas in the country the following has occurred in deployment: twenty-four cities have a high level of integrated ITS tools, 22% of freeway miles have real time data collection technologies, 73% of toll collection lanes have electronic toll collection capability, 31% of fixed route transit facilities have automatic vehicle location technology and 49% of signalized intersections are under centralized or closed loop control.
The ITS technologies, tools and practices being deployed across the country have seven major focus areas: Metropolitan, Rural, Transit, Commercial Vehicle Operations, Intelligent Vehicle Initiatives, Standards Development and Partnerships. Metropolitan deployments have concentrated on freeway and arterial management, incident and emergency response, electronic toll collection and payment, transit system management, and regional Multimodal traveler information. In the rural environment deployments are focusing on crash prevention and security, emergency services, travel and tourism services, traffic management, road weather information, transit, and operations and -maintenance. The transit initiatives include automatic vehicle location and dispatching, security, and record keeping systems. The commercial vehicle focus is on safety assurance, credential administration, electronic screening and operations. Intelligent vehicle initiatives dealing with driver assistance services and employing improved technology in snow and ice control fleets and public safety operations. We also put in place standards for the tools and software that are needed and facilitated new public/private partnerships and public/public partnerships.
Some Highlights of the Benefits of Deployments in Metropolitan Areas
Some of the most impressive benefits of the ITS Program in the first generation have been realized in the major metropolitan areas across the country. From arterial and freeway management to emergency and incident response to electronic toll collection to better traveler information these technology deployments are improving safety, reducing trip delay/improving trip reliability, and reducing costs to the transportation user.
-- Dynamic message signs have been deployed in virtually all major metropolitan areas to improve driver information on major freeways.
-- Automated enforcement of traffic signals has reduced violations from 20% to 75%.
-- Adaptive Signal Controls have reduced traffic delay from 14% to 44%, while reducing fuel consumption anywhere from 2% to 13%, and reducing stops from 10% to 41%.
-- Ramp metering has shown 15% to 50% reduction in crashes. Recent studies have shown a 16% increase in throughput with an 8% to 60% increase in speeds on freeways.
-- 360 agencies across the country have installed signal preemption systems for emergency vehicles improving emergency response times to life threatening events.
-- Incident management systems installed across the country are estimated to be reducing travel delay from 95,000 to 2 million hours per year.
-- Electronic Toll Collection systems like E-Zpass have reduced staffing at toll collection booths by up to 43%, money handling by almost 10%, and toll road maintenance cost by 15%. In addition, travelers have been able to adjust their starting times by up to 20%. These systems are also contributing to the reduction of Carbon Monoxide (8%), and Hydrocarbons (7%) in metropolitan areas.
Some Highlights of the Benefits of ITS Deployments in Rural Areas
Rural activity has focused around improving emergency response/services, traveler information, road/weather information, operations and management, and developing partnerships between state and local agencies.
-- Road/weather information systems have been implemented in almost half of the states. The information is being used to better utilize snow and ice operations and provide traveler information prior to and during winter operations.
-- New technologies are being used to allow improved tracking of snowplows and technology to allow snowplow operators to see the road even in the worst of conditions.
-- Highway-rail grade crossings have been made safer through the use of new technologies.
-- 95% of drivers equipped with Mayday/Onstar type systems reported feeling more secure.
Some Highlights of the Benefits of ITS Deployments in Transit Systems
In continuing surveys of over 500 transit systems across the country we find deployment of ITS technologies have focused on automatic vehicle location (AVL), operations and scheduling software programs, automated dispatching, use of mobile data terminals in buses, security systems within buses, and pre-trip passenger information. These transit systems are representative of both metropolitan and rural systems.
-- AVL, a basic building block for ITS applications in for transit systems, is used by dispatchers, vehicle operators, schedulers, planners, maintenance staff, supervisors, and customers. It has been deployed in a variety of areas across the country. Where deployed, AVL has improved in schedule adherence ranging from 12.5% to 90%.
-- Customer complaints are reduced by up to 26% with the installation of computer-assisted dispatch (CAD) and AVL systems. Silent Alarm systems have supported a 33% reduction in passenger assaults where deployed.
-- Software that assists scheduling, dispatching, record keeping and billing have reduced agency-operating costs by up to 8.5% per vehicle mile.
Some Highlights of the Benefits to Commercial Vehicle Operation
Three main technology areas are designed for commercial vehicle operations (CVO) applications are safety information exchange, electronic screening and electronic credentialing.
-- As of 1999, 84% of the states were using Aspen, a software system that facilitates recording and processing of inspection data and provides historical information on the safety performance of motor carriers.
-- Nearly 7000 motor carrier fleets nationwide are participating in such electronic screening programs as Pre-Pass or NORPASS, which is saving operators significant time in bypassing of inspection and weigh stations.
Some Highlights of the Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVIi)
Research and development activities underway with industry are heavily focused at the potential safety benefits of IVI.
Given that approximately one-third of fatalities are related to run-off-the-road and one-fourth with intersections, the following activities will truly help reduce fatalities in the future.
-- Road Departure Crash Warning - An operational test for a system that can warn a driver when they are about to drift off the road, or are traveling too fast for an upcoming curve.
-- Intersection Collision Avoidance System - The Intersection Collision Avoidance System is designed to provide a driver with warnings of an impending crash or potential hazards at intersections.
-- "Rollover Stability Advisor" to address large truck rollovers.
-- An operational test of large trucks equipped with a collision warning system and an advanced braking system.
-- An operational test of an infrastructure-assisted hazard warning system for commercial vehicles.
-- An operational test of a fleet of snowplows equipped with collision warning and lateral guidance.
-- Adaptive Cruise Control - Automatic "headway keeping" to maintain safe space between vehicles and warn drivers if following too closely.
Some Highlights of ITS Standards Deployment
ITS standards are the means by which the agencies and industry ensure that the tools and technologies being deployed are adaptable and interoperable over time.
We are pleased to report that the ITS standards development partnership with the several organizations has been very successful. The federal, state, local and private sector partnership has:
-- Developed over 50 key ITS standards.
-- Balloted and approved by AASHTO 24 ITS standards and will be balloting another 23 within the next 3 years.
-- Supported training in the application of key ITS standards, encouraged State departments of transportation to deploy ITS technologies using the new ITS standards, conducted case studies of the applications of ITS technologies to share with others, and produced a series of guide documents to assist with the application of the standards.
-- Given special attention to the deployment of actuated signal systems, dynamic message signs, traffic management center-to-center communications, incident management, and road weather information systems.
As widely understood in the computer and communications world, the technology is changing so rapidly that standards developed today are soon obsolete or in great need of revision and enhancement. Thus it is important that the partnerships with FHWA, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), the National Electrical Manufacturers Associations (NEMA) and others be maintained and that funding to support the development and enhancement of standards for evolving technologies continue.
Partnerships Created Through ITS Research and Deployment
One of the exciting benefits of the research, testing and deployment of new ITS technologies has been the unique partnerships that have been formed over the last 10 years. Federal, State and Local governments have found that ITS technologies have created an environment in which new sharing opportunities can be realized. Associations like ITS America, ITE, NEMA, American Public Works Association (APWA), American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) and others have come together to ensure consistent public agency and industry communication and development of guidelines, input to national directions, and provision of new services to the public. Examples include:
- Transportation operations and management centers are springing up all over the country. These operations/communications centers feature unique partnerships between state and local agencies, law enforcement and public safety agencies and in some cases transit operations. The foundation of these partnerships is the need for common information which is enabled by the shared technology tools needed by all agencies, such as automatic vehicle location (AVL), CAD and joint operations in responding to incidents and emergencies and in providing traffic conditions reporting via the Internet through other means.
-- National partnerships have been formed between AASHTO, ITS America, APTA, AMPO, Cellular phone associations, FHWA and others to guide the uniform deployment of the new national traveler information phone number 511.
-- Jointly sponsored national and international conferences to share and advance the state of the use of ITS technologies.
-- Partnerships that have been formed to develop and maintain the standards that provide the unifying operations between public and private sector partners.
-- Numerous public/private partnerships have been implemented as ITS systems and technologies have been researched and deployed throughout the country.
-- Unique partnerships that have been formed between federal and stale agencies, national associations and the higher education community to cooperatively pursue ongoing research and testing of new technologies and educational programs to mainstream ITS into use throughout the nation.
A Look To The Future
While much has been accomplished, the work is not done. The transportation community is now just beginning to realize the full potential of the ITS tools and technologies from the first 10 years of research, testing and deployment. These are truly exciting times in technology deployment. ITS is worldwide in its scope, long-term in its impact and commitment, and opening the opportunity for us to truly manage and operate our transportation systems in concert and make the customer experience seamless. We have turned the corner and ITS has now become pervasive and unseen in our society. The opportunities we face in the next generation of work in ITS include:
-- Integrating systems through ensuring that our standards are open, flexible and easy to use. We must make sure that we do not build barriers to deployment of the next generation of advanced systems.
-- Creating partnership opportunities among public organizations at federal, state and local levels to ensure that we realize the full potential of ITS tools. ITS requires that the public and private sectors cooperate at a level not previously required. This will require reform of rules affecting the relationship between government and private sector providers.
-- Institutionalizing an operations approach to managing our transportation systems. To optimize efficiency, organizations must now institutionalize these tools and commit to providing services in ways that are customer focused.
-- Continuing the Federal research and operational testing of the technologies that are emerging for new and better ways of providing customer service and different ways of doing the transportation business. We will need continued efforts on better system integration tools, improved data collection and vehicle monitoring technologies, advanced transportation system management technologies, intelligent vehicle initiatives-with a strong emphasis on crash avoidance, integrated user information systems, and human factors.
-- Continue strong Federal funding for educating and training a differently skilled transportation professional and then integrating them into transportation organizations.
-- Continue Federal support for continually monitoring and updating the scores of technical standards as technology changes and as deployment experiences suggest modifications to the standards.
-- Focusing on achieving public awareness and political support to more clearly articulate how ITS is contributing to safety and quality of life, while offering them true choices in how their travel time is most productively spent.
-- Recognizing that the traveler is truly a customer with varying individual requirements. ITS can make it possible for the customer to expand their options and pattern their transportation options to fit their life styles.
-- Committing the necessary resources to deployment of ITS technologies by Federal, State and local governments and the private sector. This includes continuing the special Federal funding for deployment.
-- Simplifying ITS project approvals through possible changes to administrative regulatory and statutory requirements.
We are at the end of the beginning. We must now finish the journey. We must now reach to create integrated and market driven systems that cause us to work together in new and different ways to improve the operation of our systems, and to improve safety and our quality of life.