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Presidential Visit to the Turner Fairbank Research Center

Secretary Anthony Foxx

Introduction of the President at the Turner Fairbank Research Center
McLean, VA • July 14, 2014
Remarks as prepared for delivery

How’s everyone doing today? Just another day in the office, right?

Well, I’m excited to be here today… especially considering who I’m here with.  

President Obama is here with us today.

Now, the President gave an interview a while back – and he said he missed a couple things about life outside the White House. And one of them was being able to get behind the wheel of his own car, and cruise down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. You know, without a giant motorcade.

Well, I felt bad… We couldn’t let the bear loose on the freeway this morning.

But we did come pretty close! I know he got to do a little driving in our simulator, which tests a new technology that lets cars communicate with other vehicles and even infrastructure like stoplights.

That’s right, our engineers here are proving that talking cars aren’t just in science-fiction – they’re right here. And soon, they may be on the road, too. I won’t go into too much detail right now – but the vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, and vehicle-to-infrastructure, or V2I, technology that’s being developed in this facility has the potential to stop crashes before they even happen.  It can also cut greenhouse emissions and help drivers bypass traffic.

Now, I wish I could say I see this kind of progress in every corner of America’s transportation system. But, frankly, I don’t.

There are a lot of places where our infrastructure is a relic of another era, and we need jobs to fix it.

In fact, yesterday, the White House put a report online, so everyone can see how many of their state’s roads are in less than “good condition.” The answer: too many – 65 percent nationwide.

And if you took all the structurally deficient bridges in this country… and lined them up end-to-end… they’d stretch from the front door of this facility, to about the President’s house in Chicago.

So we’ve got a lot of work left to do. And what we need is a long-term funding bill like the one this Administration has introduced, the GROW AMERICA Act.

We need policies that help us cut red tape and help build projects faster.

But there’s one thing we need… that we already have. And that’s the man to see the job through. 

President Obama may not be able to get behind the wheel quite yet – but he still knows what direction we need to go.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the President of the United States.

Updated: Monday, July 21, 2014