Technology Takes the Wheel

No issue has grown more rapidly than transportation mobility. America’s economy and quality of life rest in the hands of a strong transit system. Unfortunately, regional transportation systems continue to be unreliable and face substantial financial challenges. It is imperative for the United States to explore more sustainable transportation systems in order to achieve economic growth.

Now is the time to invest in quality transportation infrastructure. Access to transportation provides opportunities for households to acquire a larger income and add to the overall net pay of the communities they reside in. Newly developed mobility options provided by a connected network have the power to eliminate barriers that limit an individual’s ability to contribute to the economy. These technological systems, such as the Internet of Things’ (IoT) smart transportation solutions, are promising an answer to these constraints.

IoT is fundamentally transforming the transportation industry. IoT technology utilizes a machine-to-machine communication network that gathers and analyzes data to provide insights on internal systems that could solve some of the nation’s most pressing economic issues. By employing IoT smart transportation solutions, policy makers can facilitate economic growth by addressing issues regarding congestion, public safety, and cost efficiency that exist across all modes of public transportation.

After years of relying on an inefficient transportation system, Americans now face increased congestion and a longer commute. By utilizing IoT connected technology solutions, policy makers can analyze data from numerous sources to create a streamlined transportation system. For example, an IoT smart transportation system could utilize sensors built into local streets and freeways to operate traffic lights based on information such as the amount of cars occupying each lane. This strategy can give traffic managers a comprehensive real-time view of traffic and the tools to reduce congestion.

Policy makers must also take into consideration secure freight and public transit management on all modes of transportation infrastructures. IoT smart technologies are reshaping the way cities locate, address and prevent these safety issues. IoT systems are capable of anticipating risks that bring early warning and protection to all transportation users. For example, IoT systems can monitor salt usage rates by integrating data on road friction flowing from road sensors with other data sources such as weather reports to eliminate risks. These innovative efforts toward safer transportation infrastructures will reduce transportation mortality and promote fluid transit systems.

Transit systems must also budget significant funds to cover overall operating expenses of public transportation. An IoT intelligent transportation system can integrate data from various networks to improve operational efficiency, maintenance costs and fuel consumption. Transit systems can gain insights from numerous sources of data associated with inefficiencies in logistics that contribute to unnecessary operating expenses. For example, machine learning systems can analyze data patterns captured by IoT sensors to predict problems before they occur that would result in additional transit costs. This could drastically reduce the need for repairs and improve a state’s bottom line. Investing in technology is significantly less expensive than mass-transit construction which allows funds to be used on improvements to quality of service and mobility for residents. A boost in traffic flow would reduce engine idle time which would trim fuel consumption and the overall expenses of transit systems.

As technology poses itself to reinvent transportation as we know it, identifying innovative technology solutions across all transportation modes has become one of the central topics of our 2019 Better Government Competition. Whether through public or private transportation proposals, we hope our initiative will attract the most creative minds working to find policy solutions that transform our transportation system from a constraint to a driver of economic growth.

To learn more about our 2019 Better Government Competition, click here to view the project guidelines. If you are interested in submitting a proposal, click here.

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