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Intelligent Transportation Employment to Expand, Group Says

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Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The intelligent transportation system industry, the information and communication technologies that reduce traffic congestion and improve safety, may expand U.S. employment by as many as 6,400 jobs annually through 2015, an industry group said.

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group for technologies in ground transport, said the industry generated $48 billion in revenue in 2009 in the U.S. and should increase $2.7 billion to $4.2 billion annually through 2015, the organization said.

“This is really one of the largest industries that nobody has ever heard of,” Scott Belcher, president and chief executive officer of ITS America, said in a telephone interview. “Technology is really transforming vehicles.”

The report comes as automakers and suppliers develop technologies in cars and trucks that involve the global-positioning system, the Internet and other connected features. The findings are part of a report commissioned by the U.S. Transportation Department and developed by ITS America and researcher IHS Global Insight.

The group estimates the industry in 2009 had 180,000 end-use private sector jobs in the U.S. and that the employment will rise to more than 205,000 through 2015.

Inrix Inc., a Kirkland, Washington-based company, was founded in 2005 and developed a business that provides real-time traffic information and connected driving services. Customers include Volkswagen AG’s Audi, Ford Motor Co., and Toyota Motor Corp., the company’s website said.

The industry provides “a lot of new opportunities for businesses,” Bill Schwebel, Inrix senior vice president of marketing, said in a telephone interview. “And there’s a big need” to optimize traffic flow, he said.

Strained government budgets mean many states and local agencies are looking for new ways to alleviate traffic congestion and turning to new technologies to do it, Belcher said.

-- Editors: Bill Koenig, Jamie Butters

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Higgins in Southfield, Michigan at Thiggins21@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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