The completion of the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Transportation Study and the results of a CALTRANS (California Transportation) study project, stirred transportation oriented groups into action. Technology for transportation systems was a central theme in this organizing effort for what was billed as transportation for the 21st Century. In 1988, the Transportation Research Board released a report titled, Project 2020 that was a long-range projection concerning the nation’s transportation needs.
In 1990, Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner and President George H.W. Bush at a White House Press Conference released a report titled Moving America: New Directions, New Opportunities. The report outlined a new national transportation policy that was about adding technology as a new mission for the Department of Transportation and a new pot of gold to chase for the transportation sector.
This video has excerpts from the press conference. The sound is very bad so you have to turn your speakers up full blast to hear it.
This video would have been produced sometime around 1990 because it mentions legislation in Congress that would have been the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991. It isn’t stated, but is implied by the program plan that the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 was an essential element to the paradigm shift in transportation systems.
On December 18, 1991, H.R. 2950, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 was signed by George H.W. Bush. This legislation was sponsored by Norm Mineta.
Legislation for Networked Communications Systems
On December 12, 1991, S.272, the High Performance Computing and Communications Act of 1991 was signed by George H.W. Bush. This legislation was sponsored by Al Gore.
MOBILITY: THE FIFTH FREEDOM
Lyle Saxton of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was instrumental in officially recognizing a private sector group that became the public-private steering committee for Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems. The name of group was originally, the Intelligent Vehicle Highway Society of America (IVHS America). It was comprised of the leadership of the Highway Users Federation and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The ISTEA of 1991 legislation provided funding and authorization for the organization – IVHS of America to be a Federal Advisory Committee within the U.S. Department of Transportation. In other words, lobbyists for the transportation system were embedded in and partnered with government.
The first task of the IVHS of America was to produce a strategic plan for ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems). That report set a strategic national framework for the development of intelligent transportation systems. Later, the Society produced the ITS Program Plan “to identify critical interfaces to achieve interoperability at the regional, state and national levels.
DOT asked IVHS AMERICA to draw on its membership to develop a Strategic Plan for IVHS in the United States and set it in an international context. The document to the left is that Strategic Plan. It was written by the Strategic Planning Subcommittee of IVHS AMERICA, it can fairly be called a consensus of the IVHS community in the U.S. Pg 28
“IVHS is, in fact, a paradigm shift. The transportation/information infrastructure is a new way of looking at, thinking about, and improving mobility – a sociological as well as a technological revolution. The shift is ongoing in air and rail transportation. That paradigm shift is needed in highway and public transportation as well”. Pg 31
This private sector special interest group that was embedded within our government was essentially given carte blanch to redesign America’s transportation and border infrastructure for the purpose of building world’s first fully automated, advanced technology highways and facilities, managed by information and control systems.
Another way to look at it is that this private sector group was given carte blance to design the quintessential police state for surveillance, tracking and control of movement in the United States.
Vice President Gore has identified broad initiatives that together will restore America’s technological leadership and reinvigorate our economy. The Vice President’s technology initiative emphasizes that investing in infrastructure means more than building and repairing bridges, harbors, and highways. Today the United States faces a new series of communications, transportation, and environmental needs for the 21st century. Pg. 2
The JPO was a coordinating entity for programs of the Intelligent Transportation Systems. Their mission was to “manage all Federal-level ITS activities and coordinate the many Federal agencies with a stake in ITS.