The hearing will explore how businesses and government use new technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), to enhance the efficiency of infrastructure and transportation across the country. Witnesses have been asked to testify on their unique projects, successes, and challenges with utilizing IoT technology in the transportation sector. Witnesses will also discuss their views on the appropriate role of the federal government in promoting innovation, adopting new technologies, and protecting safety in transportation and infrastructure projects.
• The Honorable Carlos Monje, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation
• Ms. Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation
• Mr. Jordan Kass, President of Managed Services, C.H. Robinson
• Mr. Doug Davis, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Intel Corporation
• Dr. Robert Edelstein, Senior Vice President, AECOM
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
9:45 a.m. ET
Senate Russell Building 253
Witness testimony, opening statements, and a livestream will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.
Senator Deb Fischer
Good morning. I am pleased to convene the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation & Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security for today’s hearing entitled “How the Internet of Things (IoT) Can Bring U.S. Transportation and Infrastructure into the 21st Century.”
This hearing will examine how the Internet of Things can advance our nation’s transportation and infrastructure system.
America’s transportation network is well-positioned to benefit from new developments in technology. For example, the Internet of Things offers new ways to help alleviate congestion on our nation’s roads, reduce cargo shipping delays at ports, and monitor rail and pipeline infrastructure safety. This growing, interconnected network can inform policymakers on where to invest limited resources in road and bridge maintenance.
In March, Senator Booker and I joined Senators Ayotte and Schatz to introduce the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things, or “DIGIT,” Act. This bipartisan legislation builds on our resolution which passed the Senate last year. It calls for a nationwide strategy to drive development of the Internet of Things.
The DIGIT Act would convene a working group of private and public sector stakeholders to offer recommendations to Congress. They would focus on how to plan for and encourage the growth of the Internet of Things. Our bill would begin discussions on the future of this network and ensure the United States is adopting policies that accelerate innovation and allow it to thrive.
This could have a positive effect on transportation.
For instance, global supply chains represent a major opportunity to take advantage of the Internet of Things to grow exports and imports. In today’s “just-in-time” shipping environment, time is money and efficiency is key. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, by 2045, freight volumes will increase by 45 percent.
DOT, in its Beyond Traffic report, found that transportation delays have a high cost. For example, Nike, Inc., “spends an additional $4 million per week” in extra inventory to compensate for shipping delays. The same report found that a week-long disruption at our nation’s two largest ports (LA & Long Beach) would cost our economy as much as $150 million per day.
Meanwhile, supply chains are changing rapidly in response to transportation delays and alternative options.
For example, after nine years, the $5.4 billion Panama Canal expansion is expected to open this week. Following the project’s completion, the Panama Canal will be able to process ships nearly three times as large as before and will provide a greater connection between our East Coast ports and Asian export markets. A recent white paper co-authored by C.H. Robinson and the Boston Consulting Group pointed out that the canal’s expansion, “promises to reorient the landscape of the logistics industry and alter the decision-making calculus of shippers that the canal serves.”
Delays in our logistics chain raise costs for shippers, infrastructure operators, carriers, and consumers. By increasing connectivity and real-time data flows between stakeholders, our transportation network and its users will gain productivity.
Infrastructure design, construction, maintenance, and safety will also benefit from improved data and connectivity. State and local highway officials constantly face challenges when allocating limited resources to an array of transportation projects.
For example, AECOM has established a Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology system (known as SMART) to remotely monitor bridges, dams, and other transportation assets. AECOM’s SMART infrastructure seeks to use the Internet of Things to enhance the operating efficiencies of infrastructure and lengthen the life of critical assets.
Real-time monitoring represents a crucial analytic tool. It can enable states and localities to expend highway dollars in a risk-based manner, thereby bolstering safety and infrastructure reliability.
As part of the FAST Act, I worked with my colleagues on this committee to author a robust national freight policy that will provide states with greater resources to designate critical urban and rural corridors. Congress also expanded the objectives of the intelligent transportation system program, which seeks to integrate technology, communications, and data into our transportation network, to include enhancing our national freight network.
Senator Booker and I have been working together to better understand the possibilities of the Internet of Things, and to educate our Senate colleagues on them.
I am pleased that we have an exceptional group of stakeholders appearing before this subcommittee today.
We are fortunate to have officials who are developing policy at the federal and local levels. I am eager to hear how private sector stakeholders are utilizing the Internet, data, and technology to manage infrastructure projects, and advance freight and passenger transportation networks.
I would now like to invite Senator Booker to offer opening remarks.
 U.S. Department of Transportation, “Beyond Traffic 2045,” p. 9.
 IBID, p. 178.
 Wall Street Journal, “Panama Canal Expands,” June 19, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-panama-canal-expands-1466378348.
 IBID (14,000 twenty foot equivalent container ships vs. 5,000).
 Boston Consulting Group and C.H. Robinson, “Wide Open: How the Panama Canal Is Redrawing the Logistics Map.”
 AECOM, “Buildings Bridges join the Internet of Things,” July 9, 2013, http://blogs.aecom.com/connectedcities/buildings-and-bridges-join-the-internet-of-things/.
 Section 6005, “Intelligent Transportation System Goals,” FAST Act.
Witness Panel 1
The Honorable Carlos MonjeAssistant Secretary for Transportation PolicyU.S. Department of Transportation
Ms. Seleta ReynoldsGeneral ManagerLos Angeles Department of Transportation
Mr. Jordan KassPresident of Managed ServicesC.H. Robinson
Mr. Doug DavisSenior Vice President and General ManagerIntel Corporation
Dr. Robert EdelsteinSenior Vice PresidentAECOM