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Remarks: Deputy Assistant Secretary Hampshire, U.S. DOT Vehicle to Everything (V2X) Communications Summit

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Hello everyone. Welcome to the US Department of Transportation headquarters, in Washington D.C. and welcome to those joining us virtually. 
I’m Dr. Robert Hampshire, and I’m the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology and Chief Science Officer at US DOT. 

For this Summit, “Vehicle to Everything Communications: Preparing for Deployment,” I am pleased to be able to provide a bit of context from the DOT perspective, but mostly I am pleased to be able to hear from you – on successes, challenges, and what you all need to move this critical technology to full deployment. 

Safety is paramount to our Nation’s transportation system, and the Department of Transportation has long supported the implementation of Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technologies and its proven benefits, including crash avoidance for travelers and vulnerable road users, reduction of traffic congestion, and thus the reduction of associated emissions. 

The last few years have seen some major changes in the way we live and work and how we envision the future of transportation. 

One of the lessons to come out of our collective experience is that now more than ever connected and automated vehicles will feature prominently in the immediate future. 

And, our job is to ensure these systems operate safely, can integrate into our existing transportation network, and achieve the equitable, environmental and opportunity standards we have set. 

USDOT in partnership with our stakeholders have demonstrated and deployed a vision for interoperable and cybersecure connectivity enabling deployment nationwide through the Connected Vehicle Pilot deployments and numerous other deployments and we need to keep these solutions in place as the technology evolves.

Our infrastructure owners/operators stakeholders have let us know that they too believe in V2X communications and connectivity for improvements to the management of their local systems; and they have stressed that connectivity is an important part of the future digital infrastructure environment that we are building across the Nation.

USDOT has been testing and demonstrating priority safety applications using the LTE-V2X technology in a manner similar to how we worked with industry partners to test, demonstrate and deploy DSRC-based V2X applications. Later this morning, we will convene a discussion of the LTE-V2X technology radio performance results. Testing and demonstration gives deployers greater insight into how the V2X applications using LTE-V2X fit into their V2X environments as well as provide guidance to new adopters. 

We are interested in working with stakeholders to craft a suitable deployment strategy using the resources and tools available to us – and we have a tremendous opportunity in the “BIL”:

There are also some specific programs and directives included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) that address deployment of connectivity enabling technology. 

  • The BIL is once-in-a-generation opportunity by which we are investing to help communities across America to improve their infrastructure. Roads and rail, trains and transit, ports and airports, internet, water pipes. It’s the biggest effort of this kind in the better part of a century.  
  • It presents an opportunity to really reimagine and rethink the transportation landscape and then leverage to ensure we are creating multimodal, interconnected and integrated systems, and that those systems can be available to meet current and emerging applications and supporting infrastructures, with the end goal to deliver a safer, more efficient, more sustainable, more equitable world-class transportation system. 

The BIL provides us with additional tools and resources that allow for coordinated action-not just within DOT but across the whole of government—and that includes active engagement strategies for deployment of V2X technologies. 

For example, the BIL has funding for programs such as Safe Streets and Roads for All program will fund local efforts to reduce roadway crashes and fatalities through grants for planning and projects. 

  • There are specific provisions to expand vehicle-to-pedestrian research efforts focused on incorporating vulnerable road users into the deployment of connected vehicle systems. 

And, the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation, or SMART grants which are competitive grant program for city or community demonstration deployment projects that incorporate innovative transportation technologies or uses of data, including coordinated automation, connected vehicles, and intelligent sensor-based infrastructure. 

We envision V2X as a transformational technology that will make a significant impact on our transportation landscape. I want to encourage you to continue meaningful engagement in the process of developing plans, projects, and policies in the form of shared participation and decision making that work to further building a transportation system for all; and in help to achieve the public benefits that we have all initially set-out together to achieve. This includes supporting the future work that we are here, at this Summit, to discuss—whether in research and analysis, testing and demonstrating or in providing guidance.

The next two days are designed to not only hear from you and help us identify ways that we can help you. The discussions and your participation will assist us in establishing a set of short-and long-term priorities that will be used to establish a path forward towards achieving the use of the 30 MHz and furthering V2X deployment in the nation. We welcome your active engagement in these pivotal conversations that will further advance transformational change to our nation’s transportation system that all of us will benefit from. Thank you again for taking time out of your schedules to either travel to DC or tune in via the virtual platform to be part of this transformational change.