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State Of Intelligent Transportation Systems, ITS Part – 5

February 19, 2010

Interview with Scott  Belcher, Part – 1

The main speaker for the second day of the NWT Conference was Scott F. Blecher, president and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.

ITS America is the leading advocate for technologies that improve the safety, security and efficiency of the nation’s surface transportation system.

“Scott’s vision for moving Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to the next level includes raising awareness of the value of ITS among consumers, legislators, and the media and seeking increased federal funding of ITS initiatives. This vision will help guide our nation’s transportation network to a level of enhanced safety, reduced traffic congestion, decreased fuel consumption and emissions, and a lowered economic burden on our society.” Full bio…

Drive smarter, not harder

Mr. Blecher’s, Feb. 10, 2010 presentation, before the NWT Conference, illustrated many ways that Intelligent Transportation System technologies are part of our everyday life but we don’t really know it. They are deployed largely on an incidental basis, but should be integrated on a system-wide basis. ITS can improve traffic flow, reduce fuel consumption and pollution and save lives. We loose one hundred people a day on our highways and we need to do something about it. It’s been estimated that ITS could reduced unimpaired accidents by 82%.

He sited three recent reports that concluded, the transportation system in our country is in dire shape and likely to get worse before it gets better. But, even in these difficult times, ITS technology can vastly improve many transportation problems facing state and local governments without a major investment in infrastructure.

After his talk, Scott was kind enough to sit down with Innovational Musings’ intrepid reporter, Jamie Saveriano for an interview.

In Part – 1 of the interview we discuss:

  • About ITS America
  • U.S. vs International competiton in ITS
  • The U.S. transportation infrastructure is broke and broken
  • States that are leading in ITS deployment
  • Oregon’s strength in collaboration has lead to a recent award.

On the day before his talk, Scott presented the city of Portland with the “ITS America Smart City Award” in recognition of its innovated implementation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).

“Portland has been one of the leading U.S. Cities in the Deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems to solve critical transportation challenges.” He proclaimed. Full release…

In the second half of the interview, Scott announces an exciting ITS competition and more…

In Part – 2 of the interview we discuss:

  • IntelliDrive is a significant ITS development
  • ITSA role in the IntelliDrive initiative
  • Environmental benefits of ITS
  • Plans for upcoming ITSA conference in Houston in May 2010
  • iCarpool award for innovation
  • A Better Tomorrow Competition – Futurama 2050
  • How ITS will impact smart grid and electric vehicles

The most exciting news for me was learning about the Futurama 2050 competition. I am a big fan of the classic 1939 New York World’s Fair and have an extensive library of books, videos and collector items from it, but much more on that later…

I thought this was a great interview with Scott and we appreciate him talking with us. He provides the ITS industry with vision and energy, and ITS America is working on innovative programs to drive that vision to the highways.

Next, our interview with Galen McGill, ODOT ITS Program Manager.

ITS – Part 4, ITS – Part 3ITS – Part 2ITS – Part 1


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