The Intelligent Transportation Society of America recently recognized the top innovators in the transportation technology community. Intelligent Transportation Systems are simply the use of electronics, computers and communications to move people and goods faster, safer, and cleaner. (See my recap of the conference, “Technology’s Role In Moving People & Goods Quicker, Safer, Cleaner“)
“This is the leading awards program in the country on transportation innovation and each of the winners is truly propelling transportation innovation forward,” said Scott Belcher, President and CEO of ITS America. “Each project that was recognized is a great example of how technology can be used to cost-effectively create a safer, more effective transportation network.”
These awards will give you an idea of where technology is intersecting with transportation and to make a positive difference for people and businesses:
1. Best New Innovative Products, Services, or Applications
This award recognizes “innovative projects that provide transportation solutions to users in the areas of public safety, security, surface transportation efficiency and the reduction of carbon emissions.
1st: Houston TranStar for “Cost Effective Arterial Network Travel Times”
2nd: Carnegie Mellon University’s “Tiramisu Transit”
3rd: Florida Department of Transportation District 4 “Maintenance Inventory Management System”
Runner-up finalists included:
- City of Minneapolis, “First Avenue Dynamic Parking Lane”
- ICX Transportation Group, “New Jersey 511 and Data Fusion Engine”
- King County, DKS Associates, and ConSysTec, “King County Metro Transit ITS Architecture Deployment”
- Mississippi DOT, “Video Migration”
- San Diego Association of Governments, “T-PeMS Development and Deployment”
- University of Maryland CATT Lab, “The Regional Integrated Transportation Information System”
2. Best New Innovative Practices
Acknowledges projects in the areas of rural ITS, sustainability in transportation, marketing and outreach, partnership deployment (business-to-business, government-to-government, or public/private), and research and innovation.
1st: Chicago Department of Transportation’s for “Chicago Traffic Tracker”;
2nd: The Vermont Agency for Transportation’s “RWIS-VMS Automation
2nd: Florida DOT District 6’s “95 Express Marketing and Outreach Program” tied
3rd: Houston’s TranStar “Real Time Travel Monitoring System for Hurricane Evacuation Routes”
Runner-up finalists included:
- Chicago DOT, “Chicago Traffic Tracker”
- Florida DOT District Six, “95 Express Marketing and Outreach Program”
- Florida Turnpike, “Specialty Towing and Roadside Repair Program”
- Houston TranStar, “Real Time Travel Time Monitoring System for Hurricane Evacuation Routes”
- Iteris and the City of Long Beach, “Douglas Park Adaptive Traffic Control Program”
- New York State DOT, “Universal Smart Roadside Electric Screening Platform for Commerical Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Program”
- Pinellas County Public Works, “The Integration of Environmental Sensors into Pinellas County’s Smart Tracs Advanced Traffic Management System”
- TransCore and NYC DOT, “Large Scale Urban Traffic Management Using a Wireless Network”
- Vermont Agency of Transportation, “RWIS-VMS Automation”
The Hall of Fame awards
Recognizes the life-long champions of technology’s vital role in transportation, and recipients personify achievement in the ultimate standards for a leader in the ITS field,” said Belcher. Hall of Fame inductees included
- Bill Millar of the American Public Transportation Association
- Thomas Deen with the Transportation Research Board
- William Harris of Texas A&M University
In my home base region of the Pacific Northwest, the Cascadia Center for Regional Development (Cascadia Center) of Discovery Institute, West Coast Corridor Coalition (WCCC) have been working on intelligent transportation projects and solutions to enable people and goods to move quicker, safer and cleaner.
The two groups collaborated to produce the Clean, Green, and Smart Best Practices Manual (see info or 104-page PDF) in April 2009. The report is an outgrowth of the WCCC’s ITS and Environment Committee. What may seem like an odd pairing actually makes sense, as the report points out:
“Since goods movement and personal travel rely largely on the same transportation system, impact the same environment, and would potentially benefit from many of the same new technologies and practices, both aspects of transportation need to be addressed where they are intertwined.”
To advance that work, the two collaborated with many others to gather “the most promising innovations and initiatives dealing with transportation-related impacts on the environment and climate change.”
The primary goals of the Manual are to
- serve as a clearinghouse for innovations,
- provide a continuous update of information,
- support the networking of researchers with each other and the private sector, and
- raise the level of awareness among all parties who can help facilitate the process of adopting new technologies and systems in transportation.
The Manual offers an extensive menu of proposed initiatives and currently deployed projects that can reduce the environmental footprint of the transportation system by:
- applying new fuel, drive-train, and other technologies, and/or
- making the system more efficient in ways that reduce its required level of resource consumption relative to a given amount of goods movement or personal travel.
Since 1993, the Cascadia Center has convened public- and private-sector interests in order to learn about and develop “Clean, Green and Smart” transportation, particularly in key high traffic corridors like West Coast interstates. The Seattle-based transportation policy center has partnered with Microsoft Corp. to offer “Beyond Oil” conferences, which have focused on a range of issues, such integrating ITS in West Coast states and traffic light synchronization. Presentations from the last major “Beyond Oil” conference, held in 2009, are found here.
Note: The Cascadia Center partially sponsored my attendance at the World Congress.