FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2015
STRR Act Recognizes Technology Creates a Safer Transportation System
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— Bill Malkes, Founder and CEO, of GRIDSMART Technologies, Inc., made the following statement on The Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (the STRR Act). The STRR Act, the first long term transportation bill in ten years, is a six-year, nearly $340 billion highway and transit bill that was passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives in a 363-64 vote.
“We are excited to see The STRR Act recognize that technology is vital to meet the changing demands of our transportation system,” said Bill Malkes, Founder and CEO of GRIDSMART Technologies, Inc. “Technologies such as GRIDSMART are providing cost effective solutions to make our transportation system safer and more efficient.”
GRIDSMART is a single camera system that allows traffic managers to use one technology to visually assess real-time traffic concerns and access long-term vehicle counts and performance data.
“As a Knoxville-based company, we also want to thank Congressman John Duncan for his leadership and vision in representing our community,” said Malkes. Congressman Duncan is a conferee for the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and will work to produce a final bill in conjunction with the U.S. Senate.
Among the key provisions to encourage innovation are:
- A new Innovation Title that encourages private sector investment; promotes the deployment of technologies and congestion management tools that support an efficient and safe transportation system; updates federal research and transportation standards development to reflect the growth of technology in transportation; encourages the installation of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) equipment to reduce congestion and improve safety; and improves truck and bus safety by accelerating the introduction of new transportation technologies;
- A new $75 million per year Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment program to provide competitive grants for development of model deployment sites for large scale installation and operation of advanced transportation technologies to improve safety, efficiency, system performance, and infrastructure return on investment. Grants will be awarded to between 5 and 8 eligible entities to deploy Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) including:
- Advanced traveler information systems; advanced transportation management technologies; infrastructure maintenance, monitoring, and condition assessment; advanced public transportation systems; system performance data collection, analysis, and dissemination; advanced safety systems including vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, technologies associated with autonomous vehicles, and other collision avoidance technologies; integration of ITS with the Smart Grid and other energy distribution and charging systems; electronic pricing and payment systems; or advanced mobility and access technologies, such as dynamic ridesharing and information systems to support human services for elderly and disabled individuals.
- Eligibility within the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program for infrastructure-based ITS capital improvements, operational improvements, capital and operating costs for traffic monitoring, management, and control facilities and programs, development and implementation of State asset management plans and performance-based management programs, highway and transit research and technology transfer programs, projects designed to support congestion pricing including electronic toll collection and travel demand management, and state offices to support eligible PPPs;
- Explicit funding eligibility for the installation of V2I communication equipment within the Highway Safety Improvement Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program;
- Establishment of a Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives Program to provide grants to States to demonstrate user-based alternative revenue mechanisms that utilize a user fee structure to maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund;
- Authorization of an Innovative Technology Deployment Grant Program to make discretionary grants to eligible States for the innovative technology deployment of commercial motor vehicle information systems and networks;
- A Future Interstate Study to examine the actions needed to upgrade and restore the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways to its role as a premier system that meets the growing and shifting demands of the 21st century;
- An assessment by the Government Accountability Office of the status of autonomous transportation technology policy developed by public entities in the U.S. and recommended implementation paths for autonomous technology, applications, and policies;
- An expanded role for the federal ITS research program to include enhancement of the national freight system and assistance in developing cybersecurity standards in cooperation with relevant modal administrations of U.S. DOT and other Federal agencies to help prevent hacking, spoofing, and disruption of connected and automated transportation vehicles; and
- Authority for the U.S. DOT to hold cash prize competitions to spur innovation.
The GRIDSMART System is the industry’s only single camera solution for actuation, traffic monitoring and data collection. For more information about GRIDSMART, please visit www.gridsmart.com.