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Tuesday, August 1, 2000

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  • Bernie Wagenblast
    Transportation Communications Newsletter Tuesday, August 1, 2000 -- ISSN: 1529-1057 ... 1) FCC Releases 511 Report and Order The complete report and order
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2000
      Transportation Communications Newsletter
      Tuesday, August 1, 2000  --  ISSN: 1529-1057

      1) FCC Releases 511 Report and Order
      The complete report and order can be downloaded through the ITS America Web site.
      2) Don't Like My Driving? Call Ford, Qualcomm
      The auto makers are forming Wingcast, which will provide Net and wireless services to cars.
      This is a follow-up news story on yesterday's announcement by Ford and Qualcomm.
      Link to story from The Industry Standard:
      3) Auto Makers Taking a High-Tech Road
      Link to story from the Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California):
      4) Cars of the Future, Geared Toward Time-Starved Families, Feature all the Comforts of Home
      Link to story from The Washington Times (Washington, DC):
      5) In-Car Systems Tune-In
      Link to story from EE Times:
      6) More Airports Providing Wireless Internet Access
      Link to story from The Denver Post (Denver, Colorado):
      7) Planners Finalize U.S. Intelligent Transportation System
      Part of the effort focuses on coordinating the use of wireless communications spectrum to link various elements of the ITS network.
      Link to story in EE Times:
      8) `SmartBarge' Initiative Launched by Port of Pittsburgh Commission
      Plan to promote waterway exports through technology innovation.
      Link to news release:
      9) It's Gut Check Time for WAP
      Will consumers embrace Wireless Application Protocol or is it just another example of over-hyped technology the public will ignore?
      Link to article from allNetDevices:
      10) Navigation Devices Save Lives, Money
      ITS America President & CEO John Collins writes about use of devices in letter to the editor of USA Today.
      Link to letter on ITS America Web site:
      11) Tracking State Deployment of Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks
      Reports for Oklahoma through Wyoming are now available online through USDOT's Electronic Data Library.
      12) Highway and Weather Conditions Together on the Internet
      Washington State DOT launches "rWeather" in full production mode.
      [agency news release]
      13) New Automotive NewsWire Debuts
      [company news release]
      14) XTRA On-Lines' New Product Utilizes Activities, Geography to Build Travel Itinerary -- a Special Boon to Those Unfamiliar With Destination
      [company news release]
      15) Chicagoland Commuters Become the First in U.S. to Have Smart Card Access to Multiple Transit Agency Systems
      [company news release]
      16) U.S. Wireless to Deploy Wireless Location Network in San Diego as Part of San Diego Advanced Traveler Information System
      [company news release]
      17) Rovenet.com Launches Nautical Wireless Portal, Car Service and Flight Information All From Your Hand Held
      Nautical Wireless connects boaters with information including: real time local weather,
      storm alerts, buoys & tide data, marina listings and more.
      [company news release]
      Web Site of the Day: The Port of Rotterdam
      Generally I haven't had much coverage of maritime communications in the newsletter, but without a doubt this industry is as important as any other mode of transport.  The Port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands is one of the chief ports in Europe and their Web site matches the role they play.  In addition to typical fare, such as news and maps, the site also includes current water levels (with five minute updates) and live camera images of the port.  These video shots also allow the user to aim and zoom the camera, an unusual feature in a transportation Web site.  The site has English, Dutch and German versions.
      12) Highway and Weather Conditions Together on the Internet
      Washington State DOT launches "rWeather" in full production mode.
      SEATTLE, Washington -- July 31, 2000 -- After six months of testing, a few changes and a lot of positive feedback, the "rWeather" website is now in full production mode.  With a click of a mouse, motorists can use "rWeather," an integrated weather and traffic website with real-time highway and weather information, to plan trips throughout Washington.  The system allows any computer user with an Internet connection to access a central statewide traveler information database.  Starting at the home page, motorists can point and click on areas of the state to access specific highway and weather information.  The website also has a new address:  www.wsdot.wa.gov/rweather
      The "rWeather" website provides access to:
      · Information from over 400 weather stations from agencies associated with the Northwest Weather Consortium and over 200 WSDOT traffic camera locations
      · WSDOT Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) broadcasts from four stations on Snoqualmie Pass  (I-90)
      · Pass reports for Washington's ten mountain pass highways
      · Weather warnings, satellite images, and radar images
      · Tutorial on how weather affects road conditions
      · In-depth "Help" and "Links" sections providing additional information sources.
      After the initial test phase, "rWeather" was expanded to include include:
      · I-90 Seattle to Ellensberg Traveler Information: A comprehensive road condition report combining pavement conditions, satellite, radar, weather observations, pass reports, and camera images all on one screen.
      · FerryWeather: A unique look at marine conditions, forecasts, and warnings provided by Washington State Ferries and the University of Washington.
      Partners in "rWeather" include:  Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), University of Washington (UW), National Weather Service (NWS) and Northwest Weather Consortium.
      The partnership provides WSDOT with automated real-time weather and highway condition forecasts of the highest resolution in the world.   With "rWeather," WSDOT combined existing data from several separate websites-from several sources and agencies-and made it accessible to the public at a single website in a statewide, graphic format.  The point-and-click map makes it easier for the public to access the information, because it is now on one website, with a map and can be expanded to include more real-time travel information, as it becomes available.
      In addition to collecting data from a wide variety of weather observation networks to produce the massive operational database, the UW is also working on several other projects in connection with "rWeather."  With support from "rWeather," the UW purchased a powerful computer that is now used to forecast the weather over the entire state at ultra high resolution.  Part of the weather prediction system is a land surface model that will provide detailed forecasts of surface conditions over state highways and help UW scientists to create weather tutorials on important transportation/weather issues such as icing, visibility and wind. 
      Funding for development of the $1.5 million system came from a combination of federal and state funds-80% federal and 20% state.  WSDOT took the lead in soliciting for and obtaining the federal grants and is currently exploring several options to cover continuing operational costs, including Federal grants, state funds and private sponsorships.  The website is fully-funded through June 2001.
      WSDOT and its partners will continue working to expand "rWeather" to meet the needs of the traveling public.  Users of the website are encouraged to continue using the "Comments" section of the website to e-mail suggestions and questions about the project.  Future plans for "rWeather" include expanding access to traffic information to including collision reports and construction updates, as well as improving links to other traveler information sources on the Internet.
      13) New Automotive NewsWire Debuts
      DETROIT, Michigan -- July 31, 2000 -- If you are interested in keeping up-to-date on automotive industry news, then beginning Tuesday, August 1st, look for BRG Townsend's news wire focused directly at the global automotive industry.
      Automotive NewsWire is the name of BRG Townsend's new service that will be e-mailed each day with news on events and activities of interest to materials suppliers, Tier 1 and 2 suppliers and automotive OEM's.
      To be added to the distribution list, please e-mail autonewswire@.... For additional information please contact Abbe Scheiner, Sales & Marketing Manager at ascheiner@... or 973-347-5300 or visit http://www.brgtownsend.com.
      14) XTRA On-Lines' New Product Utilizes Activities, Geography to Build Travel Itinerary -- a Special Boon to Those Unfamiliar With Destination
      LOS ANGELES, California -- July 31, 2000 -- XTRA On-Line Corporation (XOL) introduces today MyTrip, the first electronic planning engine utilizing geo-codes to create the most optimal and complete travel itinerary for business travelers. MyTrip is also designed to give travelers the first opportunity to create automated travel itineraries from such Personal Information Management (PIMs) calendar applications as MS Outlook and Anyday.com, as well as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) such as Palm.
      ``We will be showing MyTrip for the very first time to the 2,000-plus corporate travel planners expected to attend the National Business Travel Association's (NBTA) annual conference here through August 2,'' says Bill Diffenderffer, CEO and chairman of XOL.
      MyTrip goes into selected corporate enterprise environments for final testing in August and is expected to be available to the travel marketplace quickly thereafter.
      ``MyTrip actually mirrors trip planning steps a business traveler takes,'' says Diffenderffer. ``A trip may start with a call for a meeting on a certain day, at a specific time and at a particular place. Unlike online booking tools, the meeting time and address is all MyTrip needs to create a complete itinerary.''
      Current online travel booking products require that a traveler insert day, preferred times and know in advance what airports serve even the most remote cities in order to begin building an itinerary. ``There are a host of places around the country that business travelers just don't know the area well enough to start the planning process,'' says Rolfe Shellenberger, an industry analyst with Runzheimer International.
      ``Plus, travelers don't really want complexity. They say 'give me my best itinerary. Don't make me research and create it, but do allow me to edit or change it -- should I want to,''' added Shellenberger. ``MyTrip makes complete trip planning easy -- it revolutionizes the way we plan and book travel.''
      With MyTrip, travelers input the day, time and address of an out-of-town meeting into their electronic calendar, utilizing such familiar work tools as MS Outlook, Yahoo! Calendar, Anyday.com or Lotus Notes. MyTrip then begins a processing journey of its own, researching MapQuest and other data sources to create within a few seconds a complete itinerary optimizing total travel time, geography and personal profile information.
      ``As a final added benefit, your new electronic assistant may offer a place to dine in a possibly unfamiliar city -- based again on your personal preferences that have been previously stored. Corporate policies and preferred vendor information also have been previously stored to ensure your trip meets corporate standards,'' explains Diffenderffer.
      ``Now complete trip planning is integrated into the electronic calendar you use everyday. It also can include printable driving directions, if they're needed,'' says Diffenderffer. ``Your calendar is now populated with every last detail of your travel -- the who, when, where and how.''
      XTRA On-Line Corporation, a travel technology solutions provider for travel-enabling interactive personal information applications and services, is headquartered in Dallas with sales offices located strategically throughout the United States.
      The company's Web site can be accessed at http://www.XOL.com. PowerTrip and MyTrip are trademarks of XTRA On-Line Corporation.
      15) Chicagoland Commuters Become the First in U.S. to Have Smart Card Access to Multiple Transit Agency Systems
      SAN DIEGO, California --  August 1, 2000 -- Chicagoland commuters today become the first in the United States able to travel throughout their city and suburbs using one fully operational, intermodal (train and bus), multi-agency contactless smart card. Today is the first day of full-scale sales for the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) new smart card system, developed by Cubic Transportation Systems, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic Corporation (AMEX: CUB).
      Transit users will shave valuable time off their commutes with a state-of-the-art chip card that stores value for future rides and provides smoother access to rail, bus and suburban bus. Commuters can simply wave their cards near a smart card reader in gates and turnstiles, barely slowing their strides. The new technology also includes software and data collection that will allow transit customers to reclaim stored value if their cards are lost or stolen.
      "We're delighted and proud to be working with the CTA to provide this cutting-edge technology for Chicago commuters," said Walter C. Zable, Cubic Transportation Systems president. "As the rollout progresses, CTA will be among the agencies leading the world in offering unique technology that provides speedy transit access, while offering customers multiple non-transit applications."
      The CTA's stored-value card (SVC) system, introduced to Chicago by Cubic three years ago, was smart-card ready, thanks to Cubic and the agency's foresight when the system went on line. By anticipating the future rollout of the state-of-the art technology, the CTA is able to introduce smart cards cost effectively, while allowing other customers to continue using their magnetic stripe cards. The SVC magnetic farecard system already supports more than one transit mode -- CTA's rail and bus systems -- as well as different agencies, the CTA and Pace -- the suburban bus division of the Regional Transportation Authority, which operates approximately 600 Chicagoland buses. Overall, the new contactless smart cards are available for use on more than 1,800 buses and at 143 rail stations.
      "Smart cards offer easier access, durability and reliability as a way for CTA customers to pay their fares. Smart transit cards last longer than magnetic stripe transit cards, and riders can keep them longer," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "We are pleased to move forward into the smart card era and give our riders more flexibility when it comes to paying their fares."
      The CTA smart card rollout, part of its existing $106 million farecard contract with Cubic, makes Chicago the second major city in the U.S. to use smart cards for mass transportation. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which, like Chicago, uses the Cubic Go Card(R) and Cubic systems infrastructure, provides smart card access to trains and parking facilities in the Washington, D.C. area.
      Cubic introduced the world's first transit-based smart card system in 1989 in London. The company also has implemented smart card technology in Kuala Lumpur; Shanghai and Guangzhou, China; Germany; and Scandinavia. The company has the world's largest base of mass-transit ticketing systems -- including SVC, magnetic and smart card rail, bus, subway, toll and parking. It has complete system installations in London, China, Argentina, New York, Sydney, Singapore, Mexico, Scandinavia, San Francisco and Atlanta, in addition to Chicago and Washington, D.C. Cubic Transportation Systems is the world's leading provider of intelligent ticketing systems and integration of those systems for transit, with more than half a billion passengers around the world utilizing its turnkey solutions.
      Cubic Corporation Background:
      Cubic Corporation is the parent company of two major segments: Transportation Systems and Defense. Cubic Transportation Systems is the world's leading supplier of automated ticketing systems for mass transit. Every day, nearly a half billion people use Cubic systems in more than 40 major markets, including London, Washington, D.C., Hong Kong, Chicago, and New York. In addition, Cubic has installed turnkey ticketing systems in Kuala Lumpur, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Atlanta, and San Francisco.
      Cubic's Defense Group provides instrumented training systems for military forces, avionics, data links, aerospace systems, and product logistical support. Companies within the Defense Group also provide battle command training, radio communications systems, and field service operations and maintenance. Cubic Web site: www.cubic.com.
      16) U.S. Wireless to Deploy Wireless Location Network in San Diego as Part of San Diego Advanced Traveler Information System
      SAN RAMON, California -- August 1, 2000 -- U.S. Wireless Corporation (Nasdaq: USWC; Frankfurt: USP), a leading provider of wireless location information, announced it will deploy its RadioCamera(TM) wireless location network in San Diego County, California.  The U.S. Wireless network will be part of the San Diego Regional Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) and Corridor-wide Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO) Project, planned by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
      U.S. Wireless is building a nation-wide wireless location information network to power location-aware commercial applications, public safety enhancements, and traffic information services.  By using existing cell phones as data probes, the RadioCamera(TM) network will gather statistics on traffic speed and congestion, to provide motorists with traffic avoidance alerts and 'best route' suggestions.  The U.S. Wireless network will provide traffic flow information for the San Diego County area as part of the team led by Iteris, Inc.  Iteris and U.S. Wireless are also working together on a separate project in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
      Richard Mudge, president of Compass Services(TM), the Advanced Transportation division of U.S. Wireless Corporation, said, "We are pleased to be playing a vital role in the creation of this regional traffic and traveler information network, while simultaneously executing our strategy of building a nationwide wireless location network among the major metropolitan areas."
      Mudge noted that the SANDAG final contract is currently under negotiation, and details are yet to be disclosed.
      The RadioCamera system employs Location Pattern Matching technology to overcome challenges associated with locating wireless callers in urban environments, where line of sight between the subscriber and multiple cell sites or satellites may be obstructed, and in rural environments, where a sufficient number of cell sites may not be optimally located to perform triangulation.  From a single point of reference or cell site, the RadioCamera system is able to form a direct correlation between radio frequency patterns and a caller's location, accurately locating wireless subscribers in challenging urban and rural environments where other location technologies fail.
      In 100 markets across the United States, U.S. Wireless plans to build and operate a nationwide wireless location information service bureau, based on its RadioCamera(TM) network. More information on U.S. Wireless and the RadioCamera(TM) network can be found at the Company's website at www.uswcorp.com.
      About U.S. Wireless 
      U.S. Wireless is powering the next generation of instant wireless information services.  Through a national network of wireless location systems, the company will enable wireless carriers and others to offer a rich blend of location-enhanced services including life-saving 911 caller pinpointing, localized news and traffic updates, enhanced directory assistance, vehicle and asset tracking, and carrier network management services.
      The Compass Services(TM) Advanced Transportation Division of U.S. Wireless provides transportation management services to public and private transportation companies, enabling live traffic monitoring for expressways and arterials, location-enhanced traveler updates and alerts, and meaningful real-time best route advice.  Compass Services is also exploring opportunities to use U.S. Wireless' network to provide location information for asset tracking and additional telematics applications.
      17) Rovenet.com Launches Nautical Wireless Portal, Car Service and Flight Information All From Your Hand Held
      Nautical Wireless connects boaters with information including: real time local weather,
      storm alerts, buoys & tide data, marina listings and more.
      SOUTHAMPTON, New York -- August 1, 2000 -- Rovenet.com,
      announced today the release of their new "Nautical Portal."

      This new software is a powerful system that allows mariners to
      access critical information and services anywhere, anytime from the
      Palm(TM) wireless handheld computers. Nautical Wireless connects
      boaters with information including: real time local weather, storm
      alerts, buoys & tide data, marina listings and more.
      "Wireless communication is a great solution for boaters based on
      its compact size, reasonable cost, low maintenance and minimal concern
      of the likelihood of damage or loss," said Chuck Schwartz, president
      of Rovenet.com. "And having the information from our application makes
      the boating experience safer and more enjoyable," continued Mr.
      New content and updates will be added continuously to the Nautical
      Wireless system. Immediate, planned additions include: e-commerce for
      nautical products, communication tools, cruising guides, float plans
      and others.
      Also from Rovenet.com, you can get real time airport traffic
      status for all major U.S. airports with AirInfo Wireless. Know what
      the airlines know before they delay your flight with updates every
      five minutes courtesy of the FAA. To complete your travel needs, book
      your car reservation from your Palm(TM) handheld computer before you
      land with Limo Wireless! Never wait in line again while you're on the
      ground. With Rovenet.com you can order cars and limousines around the
      world - service provided by 1-800-Book-A-Limo, the premier Limousine
      "This really creates a total wireless environment for us. The
      average professional is trying to make their business travel as simple
      as possible, with our complete product line we are quickly becoming
      their best resource to achieve this", said Mr. Schwartz.
      These free applications may be downloaded directly from
      Rovenet.com (www.rovenet.com) as well as a variety of other sites
      featuring applications for Palm(TM) handheld computers.
      About Rovenet.com
      Rovenet.com is a division of a Technical Creative, Inc., a
      twenty-year-old software development company. Its mission is the
      development, marketing and sales of wirelessly enabled Internet tools
      and content operating on handheld computing devices. Since 1991
      Rovenet.com has been providing powerful handheld software systems for
      businesses and presently has over 10,000 installed mobile users
      worldwide. This project experience helps Rovenet.com better serve its
      clients by utilizing real world experience to meet the complicated,
      unusual and specialized design criteria necessary to effectively
      enable mobile data consumers with hand held computing devices.
      The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.
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      Bernie Wagenblast, at i95berniew@....    © 2000                                  1417
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