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

Monday, March 6, 2000
Contact: Virginia Miller
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 13-00

U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Visits SAE Congress, Highlights Transportation Innovation

DETROIT--Highlighting the importance of innovation in 21st century transportation systems, U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today cut the ribbon to open the Intelligent Vehicle Pavilion at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 2000 World Congress.

Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer participated in the ribbon cutting, along with representatives from SAE, government and industry. This is the first time that SAE has showcased an intelligent vehicle exhibit.

"President Clinton and Vice President Gore are committed to innovation as a key to continued economic growth, and innovations in transportation will be instrumental to improving safety and fuel efficiency and protecting the environment in the 21st century," Secretary Slater said. "Our Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVI), a partnership between government and industry, will speed the delivery of advanced safety systems to consumers."

Intelligent Vehicle technology involves the application of computer, information and communications technologies to improve the safety and performance of vehicles. The U.S. Department of Transportation, in collaboration with the SAE, will convene the first national IVI meeting and showcase in Washington, D.C., July 19-20, 2000.

According to Department statistics, in spite of major improvements, more than 6 million highway crashes occur annually, resulting in more than 41,000 deaths and 3.4 million injuries. In cooperation with industry partners, including General Motors and Volvo Trucks, IVI is providing seed money for operational tests that will warn drivers of dangerous situations such as impending rear end collision, rollover and running off the road.

Another Clinton-Gore innovation initiative is the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), which aims to triple fuel efficiency of family cars to 80 mpg. This historic partnership between seven federal agencies, including the Department, and the domestic auto industry, recently met a significant milestone when General Motors, Ford Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler announced their PNGV concept vehicles. The next step is for each company to develop production prototypes in 2004, the last step before production.

Keeping in line with goals to improve fuel efficiency and protect the environment, the Department also funds the Advanced Vehicle Program (AVP), which seeks to bring advanced technologies to other forms of transportation that PNGV does not address. This would include trucks, trains, ships and aircraft. The SAE World Congress, March 6-9, at Cobo Hall in Detroit, is the world's largest automotive technical conference and exposition.


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