The growing social and financial costs of our carbon-based economy have left Americans looking for cleaner options less dependent on foreign oil. Alternative energies and flex-fuel plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) will help accomplish these goals while concurrently, Intelligent Transportation Systems work brings to the mainstream the emerging on-board and in-roadway technologies that will improve efficiency and safety.
Reducing global warming caused by human activities will require far-reaching efforts by developed countries to develop and implement comprehensive clean energy initiatives, in addition to boosting alternative fuel usage. To escape the dominance of oil, coal and natural gas in U.S. energy supplies will require great focus and resources.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles offer great promise for reducing the carbon footprint of surface transportation in the U.S. Key to realizing that promise will be development of net-green alternative-energy sources for electric power generation and market-ready second-generation bio-fuels. Advances in lithium ion battery technology are underway and will also be essential, as will be integration of a robust alternative fuels infrastructure into surface transportation systems.
Today, a leading-edge technology called Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) is already being applied to enhance transportation system capacity and improve the safety, security and convenience of travel. Ongoing research and development promises even greater advances. Traffic signal synchronization, transit priority signalization, active traffic management and vehicle infrastructure integration are among the top priorities in the growing field of ITS applications.