Public and private sector innovation an emerging theme at ITS California

ITS California’s AGM is SQLstream’s local intelligent transportation event, and an opportunity for public and private sector companies to discuss those issues specific to the state of California. The event has grown in size significantly over the past few years, with new organizations attending, all keen to contribute and discuss different perspectives on the various transportation problems. ITS-CA was established in 1994 as a not-for-profit organization with the remit to foster the adoption of ITS technology across the state. Its funding is a mix of public and private industry.

SQLstream setting up the booth at ITS California

California has some acute transportation issues. For example, in Los Angeles County, the number of new residents is set to increase traffic on already congested roadways by an estimated 39 percent. Roadway expansion in this period is set to increase by only 3 percent, resulting in congestion levels rising by more than 200 percent in the next 25 years. Obviously addressing these issues ha been the focus of the Californian transportation industry as a whole, but ITS-CA serves as a focus point once per year to discuss in a wider forum.

The theme of this year’s event therefore (not unsurprisingly) was “Discovering Keys to the Next Decade”, with session focused on:

  • Support for connected vehicle deployments.
  • Transportation systems efficiency, for example reliable travel time and pricing.
  • Analyzing the success of traffic light systems and how close we are to the ‘continuous green’ vision.
  • Improving traveller information systems (of specific interest to SQLstream).
  • The effectiveness of schemes such as car sharing.

Although there’s always an over-arching theme or direction that emerges, and in this case it was the increasing presence of the private sector, and how private sector innovation is helping to drive the adoption of new technology and approaches. This was a common topic at the ITC-CA in Berkley last year, and has continued to grow. It was also a trend that was raised frequently at the recent ITS World Congress in Orlando. Long may it continue.