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 March of 1990, Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner and President George H.W. Bush announced a new transportation policy for the U.S. and they released a report about it titled Moving America: New Directions, New Opportunities. The announcement outlined a new national-international transportation policy that was about adding technology and shifting responsibility from the federal government to the states and localities – allowing the states to turn Interstates into toll roads.
This video has excerpts from the press conference. Note: C-Span fixed the video so the original clip I had was replaced with a new one 1/9/23. Following the announcement, Transportation Secretary Sam Skinner held a press conference to answer questions from reporters. In answering one of the reporters questions, Skinner said that the federal government did not have enough money to pay for these systems and that the state’s share of transportation funding was going to be cut (presumably shifted to pay for technology). The flexibility given to the states (you’re on your own buddy) was that they could either sell off infrastructure, charge tolls, raise taxes and/or “partner” – presumably foreign direct investment.
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
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.
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 Program Plan called for the DOT to build a nationwide IVHS system architecture that will provide a framework for deployment of a nationally compatible system and stimulate development of products… The IVHS architecture will describe how IVHS subsystems interact and communicate with each other, what information is shared among subsystems and how the provision of user services are integrated. The system architecture will accommodate the needs of the public and private sectors as well as state and local transportation agencies, while supporting congestion relief, improved public safety, environmental improvements, more effective intermodal transportation, and the provision of a cost effective mix of services. Page 15
The development process for a nationwide IVHS architecture is underway… In Phase I. four architecture contractor teams are conducting parallel efforts to define an initial, open nationwide IVHS architecture. The four teams are led by Rockwell International Corporation, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Hughes Aircraft Company, and Loral/IBM. Alternatives developed by these teams will be evaluated against a set of criteria that reflect technical. nontechnical, and cost considerations. This phase began on September 15, 1993, and is scheduled for completion in December 1994.
As part of the broad based architecture development effort, FHWA has also contracted with Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory to define a national commercial vehicle system design. In addition, FTA has commissioned the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to define the information flows between the central dispatcher, transit vehicles, computers and other electronic components, and the users. Both efforts will feed directly into the national system architecture development process. Page 15
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.
Selling our children's future...
The plan for the Intelligent Vehicle Highway System was in effect, a plan to destroy America. They traded the future of American children and their freedom for a road and an open air prison – panopticon. Just look at the logic of it… selling off our infrastructure to pay for high priced technology to run it. Bankrupting our country for the profit of the technology corporations and for our own imprisonment.