Today, I have some truly exciting news! I am in San Francisco, where I was joined by Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) officials in announcing that the city has been chosen as the first test site for SafeTrip-21. SafeTrip-21 is a U.S. DOT initiative to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injuries, fight congestion on America’s roadways and improve the performance of the nation's transportation system.
The Department and its partners are investing $12.4 million dollars into using cutting edge Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology and innovations to improve safety and mobility in the San Francisco Bay Area. This initiative represents the largest multi-modal test of ITS technologies in the world!
So, what does this mean for the everyday commuters in San Francisco? SafeTrip-21 will greatly enhance their driving experience, and offer unprecedented situational awareness to the traveling public.
Using their cell phone, GPS navigator, or many other consumer electronics available on the market, San Francisco drivers will have wireless access to real-time information on traffic and roadway conditions that could impact their travel plans. This system will warn drivers of sudden stops ahead, pedestrians crossing at intersections, and even if they are dangerously close to veering off the road.
SafeTrip-21 will enable drivers to take charge of their morning commute before they even leave their driveway. Drivers will be told what routes are most congested, and offered alternative ways to commute including:
• Alternate routes to the destination, with estimated travel times;
• Public transit options, including information about available parking spaces at area Metro park-n-rides—this system will electronically pay the fees from your bank account, too.
Roadway congestion, accidents and other incidents affect our quality of life, economy and environment. SafeTrip-21 offers the potential give America more freedom from traffic jams, air quality alerts and preventable accidents.
Paul R. Brubaker
Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration