U.S. Transportation Official to Speak at UA on Connected Vehicles

Kenneth M. Leonard
Kenneth M. Leonard

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Kenneth M. Leonard, director of the U.S. Department of Transportation Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, will discuss communication among vehicles, infrastructure and mobile computing in a seminar at The University of Alabama.

The talk will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18, in the Ferguson Theater. Leonard’s lecture is presented by the directors of the UA College of Engineering’s research centers.

The USDOT is investing in connected vehicles because of their promise to save lives, as well as improve traffic flow, reduce environmental impacts, and make our communities safer and more livable.

Connected vehicles would mean a transportation system where cars could warn of a potential crash or icy roads ahead, advise of a traffic jam ahead or help find a parking space. In such a system, buses could alert passengers of their next connection, mapping software could indicate the greenest travel route and cell phones could communicate with traffic signals so disabled pedestrians can safely cross an intersection.

These developments get closer to reality through the U.S. Department of Transportation connected vehicle research. Connected vehicles combine leading-edge technologies such as GPS sensors, wireless internet, wireless sensors and dedicated short-range communications to enable high-speed, real-time communication among vehicles, roadside infrastructure and mobile devices.

Leonard is a member of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service. He has more 30 years of federal government and private sector leadership experience in the areas of transportation, energy, investment, defense, environment, regulatory affairs and information systems.


Adam Jones, engineering public relations, 205/348-6444, acjones12@eng.ua.edu