Arinc wins deal to develop smart highways

Arinc Inc. has won a five-year contract from the Transportation Department to develop communications for intelligent transportation systems, an initiative of the Federal Highway Administration.

The contract has a potential value of $19 million, the company said.

Annapolis, Md.-based Arinc has been leading the Transportation Department's research into dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) for a decade. Company officials said the technology would enable short-range radio links between vehicles, as well as between vehicles and the roadside.

"DSRC is the communications system that will enable the next big advance in highway safety," said Broady Cash, program manager at Arinc. "It promises a substantial reduction in the number of lives lost in vehicle accidents."

As it's currently employed, the technology provides the foundation for automatic toll collection. According to Arinc, the system can also be used for transmitting real-time traffic and weather information, accident avoidance messages and other data.

Gary Pruitt, Arinc's director of advanced transportation programs, said the company will expand the types of solutions the technology can support. It will also build several DSRC prototypes and test them under highway conditions.

Arinc ranks No. 30 on Washington Technology's 2004 Top 100 list with $328 million in federal prime contracting revenue.

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