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Vol. 10, No. 6 - November/December 1999

The Smart Card Revolution
The vision of making smart cards a passport to cashless transportation is technically within our grasp. In principle, a commuter will soon be able to leave home, refuel the car, pay a toll on the way to the train station, park at a garage, take a commuter train, and call the office from the train on a cellular phone -- all with the swipe or a wave of a single smart card. Soon this vision will be reality.

The Market for Telematics is Expanding
By the year 2001, it is estimated that over one million vehicles will be equipped with devices that can send and receive text and voice messages and continuously communicate precise vehicle location. How to commercially exploit this emerging new capability may become a key challenge for the automakers and the infant ITS industry.

EPA: A Rogue Agency?
In its zeal to oppose highway construction and reduce auto use, the Environmental Protection Agency may have overstepped the bounds of statutory authority according to Congressional critics. Now, the chastened agency is making amends by replacing its controversial anti-road Transportation Partners Program with a more balanced approach.

Novel Automobile Service Concepts
Experimentation with novel automobile service concepts continues to grow, according to MIT's International Mobility Observatory which monitors the state of transportation innovation throughout the world. New ways of using cars go under such names as "car sharing," "self-drive taxis" and "station cars." An update on current experiments with innovative forms of car use follows.


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