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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 19, 2000
Contact: Virginia Miller
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 48-00

U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Presents IVI Deployment Goals, Announces Mayday Readiness Initiative

U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today challenged the American automotive industry to establish three new goals for intelligent vehicle deployment and also announced the start of the National Mayday Readiness Initiative, a program using technology to inform emergency responders more quickly about crashes.

"President Clinton said that we must continue to encourage the creation and spread of new technologies to continue America's prosperity in the new century," Secretary Slater said. "The IVI public-private partnership is speeding delivery of advanced safety systems to consumers and accelerating progress toward improved safety, President Clinton and Vice President Gore's highest transportation priority."

Secretary Slater proposed the following IVI deployment goals, asking industry to agree to work with USDOT on these or like specific goals. He said that the partnership could help achieve a national goal of reducing crash fatalities by 20 percent over the next 10 years:

  • 10 percent of new light vehicles sold by 2010 should be equipped with one or more IVI systems.

  • 25 percent of new commercial vehicles sold by 2010 should be equipped with one or more IVI systems.

  • 25 metropolitan areas by 2010 should have deployed the infrastructure portion of a cooperative intersection collision warning system.

Each year, more than 6 million crashes occur on U.S. highways. Crashes kill more than 41,000 people, injure about 3.2 million, and cost more than $150 billion a year. Despite public information campaigns and vehicle and infrastructure design improvements in recent decades, driver error remains the leading cause of highway crashes.

Through the IVI, crashes will be prevented by helping drivers avoid hazardous mistakes. IVI exists to accelerate the development and commercialization of vehicle-based driver assistance products that will warn drivers of dangerous situations, recommend actions, and even assume partial control of vehicles to avoid collisions. The national IVI meeting this week showcases accomplishments in intelligent vehicle technologies and sets the course for its future.

The IVI program already has produced results. Intelligent vehicle products in the marketplace include automated collision notification, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warning systems, as well as rear-end collision warning systems for trucks. Products in testing and expected to appear soon in passenger cars include rear-end collision avoidance systems and roadway departure warning systems. Five IVI operational tests also are under way.

The IVI is a cooperative effort between the motor vehicle industry and four agencies of USDOT: Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Transit Administration. IVI was reauthorized as part of USDOT's Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program in 1998 in the Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). Total ITS funding amounts to almost $1.3 billion over six years. States also can support ITS projects using regular federal-aid highway funds.

In announcing the kick-off of the National Mayday Readiness Initiative (NMRI) at the first National Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVI) meeting in Washington, D.C., Secretary Slater said that NMRI that will facilitate better use of the existing 911 system and save lives through faster emergency notification from vehicles.

NMRI, a joint effort between the USDOT and the wireless emergency communication advocacy group, ComCARE, seeks to integrate automated crash notification systems in equipped vehicles into 911 and emergency medical systems.

Additional information on the IVI and NMRI, including the full text of Secretary Slater's remarks are posted on USDOT's ITS web site, www.its.dot.gov

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