Ideas presented for the Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) challenge must embody novel uses or applications for future intelligent transportation systems that make use of this communication option.   Examples of ideas will likely involve one of the following topics: 1) Public Safety 2) Infotainment 3) Driver convenience, and 4) Location-Based Services/Social Networking. Each idea has its own set of pros and cons and differentiating the benefits of one idea over the other is a matter of perspectives. We argue that no one knows for sure how society will accept and utilize these ideas until they get to try them out. Eventually, the opinion of the end-user (general public) is the one that counts.   The real question is not which idea is the best, but rather how can DSRC be utilized to enhance the safety level for drivers and passengers without putting the burden of the communication infrastructure cost solely on the public? Can we find new ways to combine communication technologies and services within a connected vehicle ecosystem in a financially self-sustainable way without compromising technical innovation and in a collaboration of private and public stakeholders?  The research group at Clemson University proposes the Integrated Intelligent Transportation Platform (IITP) to build a true connected vehicle ecosystem. The proposed platform will leverage high performance computing and networking capabilities in the infrastructure backbone with advanced computing and communication capabilities in the vehicle including the integration of mobile devices.  A unique aspect of the platform is the DSRC support for mobile Commerce (m-commerce) applications that will allow for the incorporation of private entities in the use of the platform.  This aspect will open up the opportunity for a successful business model that can also support the non-revenue generating functions of the platform such as safety applications.  The framework will also be capable of supporting future, innovative transportation related applications. The key challenge in making DSRC a success is to use it as a critical communication technology for essential services for the future road user. DSRC like other wireless technologies has its advantages and disadvantages, however when it is integrated into a platform that allows it to work in context with other wireless technologies it can become instrumental.  We believe that combining DSRC into this proposed integrated platform with other wireless technologies will make them more valuable by providing a wider, faster, and more reliable operating window which allows the platform to support applications of all types.  The opportunities provided by the proposed platform due to its capabilities allow for various business strategies to be implemented by the DOT.  The unique business aspect of the proposed model allows for the DOT to complement and make possible non-revenue generating services with revenue generating services.  These revenue generating uses could produce a way to finance the development of the DSRC and the platform infrastructure, and once developed, the platform could remain self-supporting.  This unique implementation aspect allows the proposed platform to be more realistic for the DOT due to the minimal financial investment in the platform. In addition, the critical role of DSRC in the revenue generating services highlights the necessity of DSRC in the integrated platform.   

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