ITS America, IBM, Spencer Trask, & Partners Launch Congestion Challenge for Traffic Solutions

Best Ideas Sought to Solve Congestion and Improve Mobility, the Environment and Public Safety

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), in partnership with IBM and Spencer Trask Collaborative Innovations (STCI), today announced a new global challenge to identify innovative ideas for combating transportation congestion. Additional partners include AAA, the American Highway Users Alliance, the Environmental Defense Fund, ITS Sweden, and the California and Virginia Departments of Transportation. The announcement was made during the ITS America Annual Meeting & Exposition.

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The ITS Congestion Challenge is the first global competition to identify the best ideas to reduce congestion and mitigate its impact on the economy and environment. The competition is open to entrepreneurs, commuters, transportation experts, researchers in all fields, universities, and citizens around the world. All ideas will be reviewed, discussed and rated by an open global community. The best ideas to solve the problem of traffic congestion will be selected and the winner will be announced during the 16th World Congress on Intelligent Transportation Systems in Stockholm, Sweden, September 21 - 25, 2009. The winner will receive a cash investment of $50,000 USD in addition to development and implementation support so that the winning idea becomes a real-world solution.

"The average metropolitan commuter in the U.S. spends nearly a full work week stuck in traffic each year. This wastes precious time and fuel and impacts the environment, road safety, quality of life, and economic productivity at a cost of more than 1% of GDP," said ITS America President and CEO Scott Belcher. "We cannot allow congestion to grind cities, suburbs and supply chains to a halt every morning and afternoon when we have innovative tools, technologies, and strategies available to manage our transportation systems and utilize our infrastructure more effectively."

"Rapidly increasing urbanization and expanding population density is creating unique, and in some cases very serious, transportation challenges throughout the world," said Gerry Mooney, IBM General Manager, Global Government and Education. "The intent of the ITS congestion challenge is to generate new ideas to reduce congestion. This will lead to smarter transportation solutions."

Winning ideas are expected to incorporate some of the following attributes:

Speed & Efficiency - enhance transportation system efficiency, use technology to reduce delays and transport people and goods more reliably.

Behavioral Impact - provide travel alternatives and choices to reduce congestion.

Safety - prevent accidents, improve incident response and provide more timely and accurate transportation information.

Sustainability - lower energy use and emissions, actively manage traffic and reduce congestion.

Economic Competitiveness - wireless applications, mobility tools and other cost, efficiency and productivity improvements.

"The platform we will be using for this challenge harnesses a powerful collaborative ecosystem incorporating proven innovation practices that have been shown to find unique solutions for today's pressing problems," notes Michael J. Turillo Jr, Vice Chairman of STCI.

For additional information on the challenge and to enter submissions, interested participants should visit Participants will be able to post solutions, collaborate in an open community to improve entries and vote for the best ideas to reduce congestion and mitigate its impact. Winners will be announced during the 16th World Congress of ITS in Stockholm in September 2009.

ITS America

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) was established in 1991 as a not-for-profit organization to foster the use of advanced technologies in surface transportation systems. It is the leading advocate for technologies that improve the safety, security and efficiency of the nation's surface transportation system. Members include private corporations, public agencies, and academic institutions involved in the research, development and design of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and technologies to enhance safety, increase mobility, and sustain the environment. For additional information on ITS America visit


IBM is building intelligent transportation systems around the world to help cities manage traffic congestion, improve urban environmental conditions and increase economic competitiveness. These systems leverage business consulting, advanced transportation analytics, research, supercomputing and new sensor networks. Recent projects include smart transportation initiatives in China, The Netherlands, Stockholm, Brisbane, Singapore, Dublin, London and Russia. For more information on IBM visit, and to view a video on IBM's smarter transportation initiatives, go to:

Spencer Trask Collaborative Innovation Inc. (STCI)

STCI accelerates the creation of new products and new ventures. This dynamic engine powers global networks using collaborative technology to co-create and capture value from customers, suppliers and innovators. STCI clients and partners launch and harvest collaborative innovation projects with the guidance of our world-class leadership team.

Spencer Trask & Co.

Spencer Trask is the leading collaborative venture firm. Our network of co-investors and business leaders provides visionary entrepreneurs with financial and intellectual capital. We change the world. Join us.

  Press Contacts
  Sabrina McGowan
  ITS America

  Lia P. Davis
  IBM Media Relations

  Erika McCarthy
  STCI Communications

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SOURCE: ITS America; Spencer Trask; IBM

CONTACT: Sabrina McGowan, ITS America, +1-202-721-4205,; or Lia P. Davis, IBM Media Relations, +1-202-285-5333,; or Erika McCarthy, STCI Communications,