Intelligent transportation growing quickly, study finds

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Updated Aug 12, 2011

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America on Wednesday, Aug. 10, released a study on the scope of the intelligent transportation systems industry in the United States and North America. Researchers found intelligent transportation to be a fast-growing sector valued at about $48 billion, slightly larger than the direct mail industry. Results indicate that cities and states with drastically reduced budgets are turning to technology solutions to maximize existing highway capacity.

The federally commissioned report developed by ITS America and IHS Global Insight suggests the ITS technology sector will outpace other industries in job creation and revenue growth through at least 2015. It further indicates that jobs within this sector pay about 75 percent more than the national average wage.

“In the current economic environment, we can’t afford to build our way out of the traffic congestion crisis,” says Scott Belcher, president and chief executive officer of ITS America. “This report validates what we have known for some time – that the transportation technology industry is healthy and growing and supports high-paying jobs across the country, even in tough economic times. This is a sector where the U.S. is poised to lead the way in innovation.”

Intelligent transportation includes information and communications technologies that lower driving costs, reduce traffic congestion, improve road and vehicle safety, or otherwise are applied to transportation to improve safety, mobility and the environment. A few examples include advanced traffic and incident management systems, electronic tolling and payment systems, vehicle crash avoidance technologies, smart traffic signals and real-time traffic, transit, and parking information.

Researchers discovered almost 3,000 companies in more than 40,000 locations actively participating in some aspect of the intelligent transportation industry, from small startups that promote car-sharing to large corporations that supply state-of-the-art traffic management services to local governments.