TRANSPORTATION: Bipartisan Smart Transportation Caucus looks to advance innovation

The joint Democrat/Republican partnership applauded by ITS America president Regina Hopper

June 11, 2015

U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) have announced the formation of a bipartisan Senate Smart Transportation Caucus to focus on advancing new innovation in transportation technologies for improving overall safety and efficiency.

“New innovations and technologies are the future of the American auto industry and vehicle safety, and we must promote their development and implementation into our everyday lives,” said Peters. “Encouraging the development of these technologies will help ensure that Michigan and the American auto industry continue to be a world leader in manufacturing the cars and trucks of the future. I’m honored to work with Sen. Gardner to create the Smart Transportation Caucus that will help drive the creation and use of these important technologies to reduce accidents, ease traffic congestion and save lives.”

“If the U.S. is going to be on the cutting edge of transportation technology, we need smart policies that assist American innovators and entrepreneurs,” Gardner added. “Developing these new technologies and ensuring that they are safely and seamlessly integrated into our infrastructure and economy will be the main focus of our caucus. I’m pleased to be able to work with Sen. Peters on these critically important issues.”

According to Sen. Peters’ website, the Smart Transportation Caucus will encourage the development and deployment of existing and next-generation technologies including connected and automated vehicle-safety technologies, smart infrastructure, advanced traffic- and freight-management systems, real-time transit and parking technologies.

The Caucus will bring together relevant stakeholders, including federal and state agencies, the auto industry, the wireless industry, transportation safety advocates and experts from the cybersecurity and privacy sector to help shape the policies and priorities that will encourage the development of smart transportation technologies.

Of the announced Caucus, recently appointed ITS America president Regina Hooper stated, “We applaud Senators Gary Peters and Cory Gardner for their leadership in advancing intelligent transportation technology solutions that will save lives, improve mobility and reduce congestion on our nation’s roadways and across our transportation network. We live in an increasingly connected world, and the Smart Transportation Caucus will bring together policymakers and stakeholders to accelerate the research and adoption of innovative technologies that are critical for solving our transportation and infrastructure challenges. (ITS America looks) forward to working with Sen. Peters and Sen. Gardner to help advance smart policy solutions that will enable states, cities and communities to put next-generation technology to work transforming the way we move people and goods and strengthening our nation’s economic competitiveness.”

Last month, Peters introduced the bipartisan Vehicle Innovation Act to promote investments in research and development of new vehicle technologies to improve safety and efficiency, including V2V and V2I, which the senator characterized as having the potential to reduce or prevent entirely up to 80% of accidents by non-impaired drivers according to information gleaned by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

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