The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) today released the most comprehensive study to date on the scope of the intelligent transportation systems (ITS) industry in the United States and North America. Researchers found intelligent transportation to be a fast growing sector valued at approximately $48 billion, slightly larger than the direct mail industry. Results indicate that cities and states with drastically reduced budgets are turning to technology solutions to maximize existing highway capacity.
The federally commissioned report developed by ITS America and IHS Global Insight, suggests the ITS technology sector will outpace other industries in job creation and revenue growth through at least 2015. It further indicates that jobs within this sector pay approximately 75 percent more than the national average wage.
"In the current economic environment, we can't afford to build our way out of the traffic congestion crisis," said Scott Belcher, president and CEO of ITS America. "This report validates what we have known for some time — that the transportation technology industry is healthy, growing and supports high-paying jobs across the country, even in tough economic times. This is a sector where the U.S. is poised to lead the way in innovation."
Intelligent transportation includes information and communications technologies that lower driving costs, reduce traffic congestion, improve road and vehicle safety or are otherwise applied to transportation to improve safety, mobility and the environment. A few examples include advanced traffic and incident management systems, electronic tolling and payment systems, vehicle crash avoidance technologies, smart traffic signals, and real-time traffic, transit and parking information.
Researchers discovered almost 3,000 companies in more than 40,000 locations actively participating in some aspect of the intelligent transportation industry, from small start-ups that promote car-sharing to large corporations that supply state-of-the-art traffic management services to local governments.
Among the key findings in the report:
The economic impact of the ITS industry is very significant. Researchers estimate an end-use ITS market of $48 billion. U.S. ITS market revenues exceed those for electronic computers, motion picture and video products, direct mail advertising, or internet advertising. The ITS industry is growing. The report model anticipates continuing expansion. From 2009 through 2015, U.S. private sector revenues are expected to climb between $2.7 billion to $4.2 billion each year, with ITS revenue growth exceeding average growth for the U.S. and North America. ITS employment impacts every state in the U.S. The report estimates the industry to have 180,000 U.S. end-use private sector jobs, with 445,000 total jobs in the value chain in 2009, corresponding to 0.3 percent of the 138 million jobs in the U.S. The employment outlook is positive and better than for the economy overall. The U.S. ITS end-use market will add between 3,600 to 6,400 jobs each year through 2015, when private sector end-use market ITS employment is projected to reach more than 205,000. ITS jobs pay well. Based on survey responses, average ITS salaries are well above the national average by more than 75 percent, with the lowest paid earning more than 8 percent above the national average wage. Three occupations (software developer, hardware developer, and other engineering) account for 32 percent of the ITS jobs.