Principal Technical Advisor for Technology Innovation and Policy
Walton Fehr is a principal technical advisor for technology innovation and policy at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center. He supports research into the use of communication-based technology in transportation, including the efficient use of the 5.9 GHz spectrum allocation assigned to dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) and connected intelligent transportation system architectures.
Fehr has worked for the U.S. DOT since May 2009, serving as the manager of Systems Engineering for the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO). At ITS JPO, Fehr led the research into how the Connected Vehicle Reference Implementation Architecture will support applications for safety, mobility, and sustainability for all modes of transportation, including passenger vehicles, transit, and heavy trucks. The Reference Architecture is expected to be the model for deployment of communication-based technology in U.S. DOT’s Connected Vehicle Pilot programs and the Smart City Challenge. He also established the Affiliated Test Bed support community and a support services organization to assist early deployers.
Throughout his engineering career, Fehr has always worked with automotive electronics. He has had the opportunity to actively participate in the three main recent watershed events in automotive electronics:
- The introduction of microcontroller-based system controls
- The introduction of serial bus communications
- The advent of connected intelligent transportation systems
Before joining ITS JPO, he was a principal of the WFET Group, a professional engineering services firm, where he implemented systems engineering practices for connected intelligent transportation systems for the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium (VIIC), a consortium of automobile original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Fehr developed the concept of operation for how VIIC applications would be implemented during U.S. DOT’s DSRC Proof-of-Concept program phase and was one of VIIC’s leads on the Applications Systems Engineering team.
Prior to his work with the VIIC, Fehr worked for Motorola’s Automotive Products Division for 17 years, serving in various positions such as engineering manager, program manager, and senior engineer, working on high-volume embedded automotive electronics for major automotive OEMs, including managing the teams architecting advanced vehicle communication and control systems and driver controls.
Prior to joining Motorola, Fehr was a senior engineer at Caterpillar, where he designed and developed electronic controls for heavy vehicles, including on-highway trucks.
Fehr is a graduate of the University of Illinois, where he earned master’s degrees in electrical engineering with a specialization in discrete time control theory, and in business administration with a specialization in technical product marketing, as well as a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
He is a licensed professional engineer, a certified Project Management Professional, a licensed class A and M vehicle operator, a member of IEEE and SAE, a named inventor on 22 U.S. patents, and author of several papers.