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SwRI supports next phase of intelligent transportation technology

San Antonio — October 17, 2006 — The Federal Highway Administration Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) program is paving the way for the next phase of intelligent transportation systems technology, where vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-road communications will enhance the safety and efficiency of our nation's crowded highways. The communications devices are critical to VII success, and Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) has been selected by OmniAir Consortium, Inc., to develop the 5.9-GHz Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) standards conformance test methods for the OmniAir DSRC certification program.

Analysts estimate that between 100,000 and 400,000 roadside DSRC devices will be installed over the course of three years as part of the VII program. OmniAir is tasked with developing a DSRC certification program for these communications devices.

OmniAir, a nonprofit consortium of public and private organizations, is under a five-year contract to the Federal Highway Administration to develop a certification program deemed essential to the forward progress of the VII initiative. SwRI®, a pioneer in intelligent transportation systems and communications technologies and an OmniAir member, is responsible for developing the standards conformance test methods for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) P1609.2-4 DSRC standards.

"The IEEE working group is in the process of finalizing the DSRC standards," says Ryan Lamm, group leader of ITS network communications and infrastructure at SwRI. "We will be developing the corresponding test methods that will become a major component of the OmniAir certification program." 

These tests will play an important role in assuring the interoperability of the communications devices, which include on-board vehicle and roadside equipment. More than 100 future applications for the technology have been envisioned, including advanced vehicle-to-vehicle emergency braking notification, signal violation warning, roadway conditions reporting, and electronic payment to support open-road tolling. 

For more information contact Deb Schmid at (210) 522-2254, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.

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