A Pivotal Year: Transforming Transportation in 2021

November 2021
Cars being tracked on a road headed toward a scenic mountain range

It’s a dynamic time for transportation as vehicles become more automated every year. Micromobility services are taking our cities by storm. And more change is just around the next bend in the road.

In 2021, MITRE focused on maximizing the safety benefits that transportation technology advances can bring. And we didn’t do it alone. Our partnerships with government and the automotive industry expanded this year, providing data to give us insights into emerging safety opportunities—and unexpected challenges—that today’s advanced driver assistance systems offer.

These partnerships laid the groundwork for our research on highly autonomous vehicles of the future, including our proposal for a new paradigm in the design, development, and testing of highly automated vehicles. We also outlined a new safety management system (SMS) approach for organizations across the industry through workshops and in public resources.

From groundbreaking micromobility research to automated safety resources, MITRE has been advancing automated vehicle and highway safety—and we’re just getting started.

 

A Look Ahead: Emerging Transportation Trends for 2022

In the coming year we’re focusing on applying our SMS expertise to the transit industry, where a Federal Transit Administration mandate requires light passenger commuter rail, trolley, bus, and metrorail operators to implement these systems. As part of that effort, we’re collaborating with the industry to instill a safety mindset throughout transit organizations. And we’re looking for leaders with transit safety expertise to join our team.

As the federal government strives to ensure that all Americans—including people with disabilities and people in underserved communities—have access to transportation that supports quality of life, we’re applying our social justice tools and frameworks to meet that need.

To support the government’s goal of reducing transportation’s impact on climate change, we’re studying the electrification of passenger vehicles and buses, with a focus on battery safety.

And as the acceleration of vehicle automation introduces new cybersecurity risks, we’re studying how to better anticipate and thwart cyberattacks that could give a nefarious actor control of a vehicle—or even a fleet of them.

Innovation and technology are transforming transportation. We’re working hand-in-hand with government and industry to fulfill the promise of these revolutionary changes—quickly, safely, and equitably.

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