A "smart car" that can help ease traffic congestion and a crime information system that eventually will allow image transmission of fingerprints, mug shots and other data directly to police cruisers are just two of the 25 demonstrations planned for the Sept. 7-8 "Breaking the Barriers to the National Information Infrastructure." This conference, co-sponsored by the Council on Competitiveness and the Clinton Administration's Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF), will be held at the Washington, D.C., ANA Hotel.
"In these demonstrations, we will be looking directly at our future," said Secretary Brown, who chairs the IITF. "This conference will not only display some of the more interesting and useful examples of applications of the NII, but will also provide a forum for the open discussion of other aspects of the information infrastructure such as societal, regulatory and private sector hurdles to be overcome in order for the NII to be used to its fullest potential."
One demonstration will be the Advanced Driver and Vehicle Advisory Navigation Concept, or "smart car" program. The project was developed by industry in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Universities Transportation Research Consortium.
"The 'smart car' project evaluates that application of technologies in helping to avoid traffic congestion, thereby improving safety," Dan Burton, council president, said. "It also tests the concept of using some equipped vehicles as 'traffic probes.'" The information from the probes is then processed with other data and sent as real-time traffic information to commuters in specially equipped "smart cars." Some of these "smart cars" will be available for test rides throughout the conference.
The conference will also showcase a project underway by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to upgrade the National Crime Information Center System. When completed, this will allow image transmissions of important data—such as fingerprints, mug shots, stolen objects—between state and local public safety agencies around the country and the FBI.
Fifty-six FBI field offices are using this application, and state and local government agencies should have it in the near future. One aim is for the application to be placed in a police patrol car, Burton said. It can improve a police officer's ability to accurately identify a suspect and help keep officers from harm because they will be able to identify a possibly armed and dangerous person before a face-to-face encounter.
The conference will feature these and other demonstrations, panel discussions and keynote speakers, including Secretary Brown; John Young, chairman of Smart Valley, Inc.; Jim Manzi, chairman and CEO of Lotus Development Corp.; and others to be announced.
Demonstrations and discussion will focus on five applications areas: healthcare, electronic information management and commerce, manufacturing, education, and entertainment and home services.