August 28, 2014

WASHINGTON – As Americans prepare to travel in record numbers this Labor Day holiday weekend, the technology and transportation industries, along with representatives from AAA and academia, have released a new report detailing how technology can reduce U.S. oil consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and time wasted waiting in traffic. The report, “Accelerating Sustainability: Demonstrating the Benefits of Transportation Technology,” highlights that tools currently available such as connected car and smart cities technologies could be more readily and easily implemented nationwide to improve the way we move people and goods.   

The report was unveiled at an event today at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) headquarters by representatives from ITI, the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI), and the Digital Energy and Sustainability Solutions Campaign (DESCC).

“Technology is a transformative force for good—and  when it is used in connected cars and smart cities—it  can help us reduce the amount of oil our country consumes, ease traffic congestion and the pain at the pump, and make our society more sustainable,” said ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield.  “Today’s discussion and the report we are releasing show it can be done.  What is missing is for our lawmakers to act and bring our 20th Century policies into the 21st Century to make full use of the proven technologies available today.”

“When applied and connected on a national scale, advanced vehicle, infrastructure and aftermarket technologies can reduce U.S. oil consumption by hundreds of millions of barrels per year, in some cases tripling the efficiency benefits of currently available technologies,” according to ITS America President and CEO Scott Belcher. “For example, wireless applications like vehicle platooning could produce fuel savings of more than 10 million barrels per year. As Congress works to pass a long-term transportation bill next year, we hope this study will provide a roadmap to help navigate the latest transportation technologies and their real-world benefits as policymakers work to promote a safer, smarter, more efficient and sustainable transportation future.”

Event participants discussed the report’s findings and four real world case studies where information and communications technology (ICT) and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are already producing measurable results across the country, including:

· A smart parking system in Ellicott City, Md., that relays information about available parking spaces reduced cruising time drivers spent looking for open spots by 21 percent. 

· The Smithsonian Institution reduced the fuel consumption of its fleet of vehicles by 52 percent by using GPS tracking and wireless communication to better manage its vehicles. 

· On a larger scale, Los Angeles County, Calif. used a synchronization program to better manage traffic signals to meet demand along its major arteries and saved drivers 31.3 million hours of travel time and 38 million gallons of gas that would otherwise have been wasted in traffic each year.  Similarly, Pittsburgh, PA, tested an adaptive signal control system in one neighborhood and reduced travel time by 25 percent.

“Many of the technologies highlighted in the report offer a rare ‘win-win’ opportunity for the motoring public,” said Managing Director of Government Relations & Traffic Safety Advocacy at AAA Jill Ingrassia. “They can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions without asking drivers to sacrifice their family vacations, change their daily commutes, or pay premiums at the pump.  Investment in these kinds of technologies has the potential to save consumers both time and money, while improving mobility and allowing for the safe and efficient use of the nation’s transportation infrastructure.”

Experts pointed to these examples as success stories of technologies that can be adopted more widely, on a national scale, to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions:

·  Vehicle Technologies:  Adaptive cruise control, cooperative-adaptive cruise control, and cylinder deactivation are proven technologies that can reduce a vehicle’s fuel consumption and emissions.  Wireless connectivity triples the effectiveness of these technologies.  

  • Widespread use of cooperative-adaptive cruise control alone could produce savings of 110 million barrels of oil and 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over a ten-year period.

· Traveler Information Technologies:  Eco-cruise control and eco-navigation technologies using wireless Internet connections provide real-time traffic data, along with road geometry and elevation data, to compute the most efficient route. 

  • Greater use in the light-duty vehicle market could translate into fuel savings of 420 million barrels of oil and 70 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over a ten-year period. 

· Infrastructure and System Operations:  Widespread utilization of proven technologies like advanced robotics, computer science, and wireless communications improves the efficiency of our existing transportation infrastructure. 

  • If built out across the country, real-time adaptive signal control could translate into fuel savings of 117 million barrels of oil and 19 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over a ten-year period.

·  Alternative Fuel Technologies:  Gas-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and compressed natural gas vehicles offer tremendous fuel efficiency gains when compared to average conventional gasoline vehicles.  

  • Plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles offer fuel savings equivalent to 409.8 million gallons per year and 361.5 million gallons per year, respectively. 
  • With current sales trends gas-electric hybrid vehicles represent the most significant potential fuel savings on the order of 2 billion barrels of oil and 170 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over a ten-year period.

Currently the U.S. transportation sector consumes fossil fuels on an enormous scale.  In 2010 cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles and heavy-duty vehicles drove 3 trillion miles and devoured over 170 billion gallons of gas that resulted in the emission of 1.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.  

Click here for the full report “Accelerating Sustainability:  Demonstrating the Benefits of Transportation Technology.”  More information about the panelists and video of the discussion will be made available and can be found by clicking here.

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About ITI. The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is the premier advocacy and policy organization for the world’s leading innovation companies.  ITI navigates the relationships between policymakers, companies, and non-governmental organizations, providing creative solutions that advance the development and use of technology around the world. Visit to learn more. Follow us on Twitter for the latest ITI news and other alerts: @ITI_TechTweets 

About ITS America. The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to advancing the research, development and deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to improve the nation’s surface transportation system. Founded in 1991, ITS America’s membership includes more than 450 public agencies, private sector companies, and academic and research institutions. ITS America’s 27 State Chapters are represented across 40 states and includes more than 1200 member organizations. Learn more at, and follow us on Twitter:@ITS_America 

About AAA.  As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at

About ITIF. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at

About DESSC. The Digital Energy and Sustainability Solutions Campaign (DESSC) brings together information and communications technology (ICT) companies and associations, non-governmental organizations, customers and other stakeholders who recognize the enabling role that ICT plays in improving our environment and driving long-term economic growth.

About CCEI. The Center for Clean Energy Innovation accepts climate change as an innovation challenge at heart. It is also the only Washington, D.C.-based think tank dedicated to designing, advocating, and advancing cutting-edge energy innovation policies to address global climate change, increase economic growth, and provide universal energy access.

About the Intelligent Car Coalition. The Intelligent Car Coalition advocates for public policies that bring the benefits of innovation at the intersection of automotive and communications technologies to consumers and promotes safety, mobility, and transportation efficiency on our nation’s roads and highways.

The “connected car” space is one of the most dynamic sectors of our economy, sprouting new partnerships, business models and products every week.  The merging of communications technologies and transportation is creating exciting opportunities to make us safer on the roads, reduce our carbon footprints, and improve our quality of life.  Consumers are thrilled that their vehicles are becoming the “ultimate mobile devices” and in Washington policymakers are examining what their role should be in this rapidly-moving industry. 

The Intelligent Car Coalition evangelizes the benefits of connected car technologies not just for individual consumers, but also for our society as a whole.  We advocate for policies that speed beneficial technologies to market, and we help policymakers think about new ways to resolve challenges that can sometimes arise in the fast-moving digital age.



Public Policy Tags: Energy, Environment & Sustainability