Intelligent transportation gets rolling

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has tapped Florida to embark on an ambitious intelligent transportation systems (ITS) journey.

FHWA will provide $10 million for the ITS effort; Florida, meanwhile, will contribute more than $8 million in matching funds from state, local and private-sector sources.

Florida will use the money to demonstrate ways of collecting, integrating and using surface transportation data. A two-year deployment is scheduled, followed by a two-year operational evaluation.

"This partnership will create a model for states and jurisdictions across the country — a model that can be used to improve safety, security and mobility on America's roadways and public transportation networks," Transportation Department Secretary Norman Mineta said in an April 2 news release.

Elements of the project include:

* Equipping Orlando's transit fleet with automatic vehicle location technology.

* Monitoring the two major highways that support hurricane evacuations from the Cape Canaveral coastal area.

* Using road weather sensors to provide information on conditions.

* Creating a statewide reporting system to house data on events, incidents, construction and other capacity restrictions.

"We've made a major commitment to [ITS] in Florida to improve our transportation network," Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in the release. "This advanced use of technology will produce real-time results in moving people and goods quicker, safer and more efficiently across our state."

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