Monday, June 13, 2016

ITS America 2016 National Conference Opening in San Jose / Silicon Valley

MEDIA CONTACT: Maureen Knightly at

State DOT Roundtable Opens ITS America 2016 San José
 Leaders Offer Insights to Challenges, Opportunities of ITS Development, Deployment, Funding

San José, CA – ITS America 2016 San José, a five-day event highlighting the latest trends in intelligent transportation and integrated mobility, opened on Sunday, June 12 with a focus on “Accelerating ITS Deployment.” An extended workshop—hosted by U.S. Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (USDOT ITS JPO) —attracted the largest crowds in recent ITS America event history, offering participants details on connected vehicle technology; information on current and potential policy decisions that will affect ITS deployment and funding; a discussion of the USDOT’s Smart City Challenge; and an update on the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.

The day was capped by a panel discussion featuring 12 state DOT leaders and a representative from ITS JPO, which was immediately followed by a reception showcasing ITS projects from across the country. The panel—hosted by HNTB and co-moderated by HNTB, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and ITS America—offered DOT leaders an opportunity to share the challenges and highlights of ITS activity in their state. For all, collaboration between public and private sectors was mentioned as key to implementing dynamic technology without relying on a governmental system that has, historically, been slow to adapt to change. Another crucial focus the DOT leaders put forward was how ITS can assist in reducing road fatalities. Tennessee Department of Transportation’s John Schroer referenced the National Safety Council’s estimate that 38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads and 4.4 million were seriously injured in 2015, meaning it was likely the deadliest driving year since 2008.

Washington State Department of Transportation’s Roger Millar spoke on the need to look at current shifts in the way people—especially young people—choose to get from point A to point B, and how ITS can bolster ‘alternative’ transportation methods such as walking, biking, fixed rail and ride sharing. The cultural shifts within state DOTs, including the ability to hire staff with the right skill sets, is seen by panelists as both an opportunity and a challenge.

Panelists included: Jim Barna, Ohio Department of Transportation; Shailen Bhatt, Colorado Department of Transportation; Kevin Biesty, Arizona Department of Transportation; Carlos Braceras, Utah Department of Transportation; Greg Larson, California Department of Transportation; Galen McGill, Oregon Department of Transportation; Bill Kingsland, New Jersey Department of Transportation; Ken Leonard, USDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office; Roger Millar, Washington State Department of Transportation; Charles Remkes, New Mexico Department of Transportation; Leslie Richards, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; John Schroer, Tennessee Department of Transportation; and Kirk Steudle, Michigan Department of Transportation. HNTB's Thomas O'Grady and Jim Barbaresso participated as well. The panel was moderated by HNTB’s Ananth Prasad, AASHTO’s Bud Wright and ITS America’s Regina Hopper.

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*** Schedule and sessions detail: ***

(Source: Press release from ITS America -

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