This article is published in the June 2017 issue.

MOBILITY21: Strategic Investments for Transportation Infrastructure & Technology

How should we invest in transportation infrastructure and technology to protect our national security and our country’s economic growth?”

Recently, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) in collaboration with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) released white papers describing a collective research agenda for intelligent infrastructure. We will be blogging about each paper over the next few weeks.

Here, we highlight the MOBILITY21: Strategic Investments for Transportation Infrastructure & Technology paper.

This paper outlines critical needs for our transportation infrastructure, identifies new technology drivers and proposes strategic investments for safe and efficient air, ground, rail and marine mobility of people and goods. As transportation technology evolves, the paper proposes an “Integrated Deployment” approach for performance-based regulations rather than the current prescriptive policy and planning. This approach includes the clustering of innovations within technology ecosystems. Such integrated deployments represent investments where the productivity gains produced are greater than the sum of their individual technology parts.

Some examples include:

  • Ground Transportation: Smart Rebuild of the Interstate System
    • This should bring the system up to modern highway and bridge design standards, which includes critical operational and safety improvements and advanced traffic management. The Smart Rebuild should be geared toward eliminating or reducing major commuter and freight bottlenecks and include connected and autonomous vehicle infrastructure necessary for the next generation of vehicles.
  • Intercity Passenger and Freight Rail Service
    • The nation needs a complement to our interstate system to carry passengers and freight. It is necessary to support the efforts of some states to improve Amtrak service or establish high-speed rail. Rail freight improvements, in partnership with Amtrak and the major railroads and seaports, would benefit the new on-demand national and international economy.
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems
    • Unmanned aerial systems also hold the potential to revolutionize urban and rural parcel delivery; medical device testing and drug delivery; the agricultural sector through precision farming; and the oil and gas industry through efficient pipeline inspections and infrastructure maintenance.

With the ultimate goal of “safe and efficient movement of people and goods”, the recommendations in the Mobility21 article are to (a) maintain existing infrastructure to modern design standards, (b) develop integrated multi-modal transportation solutions, (c) provide regulatory pathways for adoption of new transportation technologies for shared and autonomous systems, (d) invest in technologies for real-time observation and response of transportation bottlenecks and catastrophes.

Please read the paper for additional details on strategic investments for transportation infrastructure & technology.

Stay tuned to learn more about the other intelligent infrastructure papers!

MOBILITY21: Strategic Investments for Transportation Infrastructure & Technology