As we look forward to next week's National Transportation Week, it was great to kick-off the celebration a few days early with a White House Champions of Change in Transportation event yesterday recognizing “Transportation Technology Solutions for the 21st Century.”
These men and women represent the very best in American leadership, innovation, and progress. And since our latest Champions are all early adopters and tech innovators, it makes all the more sense to honor them a few days in advance of National Transportation Week.
Innovation built this country--from the ships that sailed our founders to the railroad that connected us from coast to coast. These Champions of Change are following in the footsteps of great Americans who built world class roadways, railways, and runways. And they are using cutting edge technologies to do it.
Today’s Champions of Change have:
- Made our bridges safer and our commutes more reliable (HCB, Inc.);
- Improved the way we move goods from our ports to the heart of our cities (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment);
- Developed tools to reduce highway fatalities (Minnesota Office of Traffic, Safety and Technology);
- Brought real-time travel information to our smartphones (University of Maryland's Regional Integrated Transportation Information System);
- Made our roadways more sustainable (Greenroads Foundation);
- Helping us begin building a high-speed rail network (Nippon-Sharyo); and
- Moved the airline industry into the 21st century (Dallas - Fort Worth Airport).
These are only a handful of the accomplishments of the 12 extraordinary leaders honored yesterday, and I thank them for their achievements.
These innovators are helping us make the most out of our transportation system--taking what we have as a starting point and making it better; taking what we know and putting it to work.
They're also encouraging the next generation of innovators, the students who appreciate their work and begin to channel their education toward science, technology, engineering, and math. That's what we need to continue the proud tradition of transportation technology in America. That's what we need to inspire our next Wright Brothers or Henry Ford.
I also want to thank our Champions for sharing the message that a safe and reliable infrastructure is critical for the future of this country. With every one of their imrpovements, they reopen Americans' eyes to the value of transportation in our everyday lives. That helps more people understand the critical work we’re undertaking across the country.
So congratulations to our Champions. Thank you for helping us continue building the best transportation network in the world.