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ITS ePrimer

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) ePrimer

Welcome to the ITS ePrimer!
The ITS ePrimer provides transportation professionals with fundamental concepts and practices related to ITS technologies. This online resource can help practicing professionals and students better understand how ITS is integrated into the planning, design, deployment, and operations of surface transportation systems. The ITS ePrimer is both a stand-alone reference document for the practitioner as well as a text for education and training programs.

Please use the option to send feedback as you read through the ePrimer.
The ITS PCB Program welcomes your comments and suggestions.

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Module 1

Introduction to ITS

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) apply a variety of technologies to monitor, evaluate, and manage transportation systems to enhance efficiency and safety. This module provides an overview and history of ITS from early initiatives though the evolution of technology, systems engineering, and institutional structures; describes the role of ITS in changing travel and commuter patterns and travel demand management; and introduces the business case for operational improvements. This module will introduce the content and structure of the Primer and the dynamic nature of document.

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Module 2

Systems Engineering

Systems engineering is used to develop ITS projects in an interdisciplinary, structured process that meets the needs of the users, providers, and other stakeholders while maintaining schedule and budget. This module provides an overview of systems engineering and its application to ITS planning and deployment.

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Module 3

Transportation Management Systems

Transportation management systems provide a framework for managing systems of roadways. This module addresses a systems approach for roadway management that incorporates ITS technology in the planning, programming, and evaluation of transportation facilities. It focuses on a systems approach to the application of technology to recurring transportation demand and congestion.

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Module 4

Traffic Operations

Roadway applications of ITS have roots in highway safety and efficiency initiatives dating back 50 years. Today's traffic operations are generally focused on transportation management centers (TMC) that integrate ITS applications on highways and major arterials. This module examines how TMCs incorporate, integrate, and manage an array of ITS applications to address traffic safety and reliability-focused, non-recurring and human factor operations.

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Module 5

Personal Transportation

ITS technologies offer an array of applications and enhancements for personal transportation, from real time information to safety applications and driver conveniences. This module explores current and emerging applications that enhance driver experience and safety.

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Module 6

Freight, Intermodal, and CVO

ITS applications in commercial fleets and intermodal and freight movement address safety, security, efficiency, and driver services. This module highlights various ITS applications used in commercial vehicles and freight management.

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Module 7

Public Transportation

ITS offers a broad range of applications to enhance efficiency, convenience, safety and security in public transportation and transit systems management. This module discusses system and fleet management, advanced traveler information, and safety and security applications in transit and public transportation. It identifies ways in which ITS can be integral to achieving multi-modalism and facilitating roundtrips from origin to destination.

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Module 8

Electronic Toll Collection and Pricing

ITS technologies play a significant role in facility pricing and collection applications, including multi-modal, highway and transit applications. Pricing and collection systems provide the technological foundation for user fees and managed facilities. This module considers both the application and integration challenges and technologies available.

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Module 9

Supporting ITS Technologies

Data collection, weather and traffic monitoring, communication, and in-vehicle systems are all essential supporting technologies for effective ITS. Advances in technology and integration provide opportunities for system enhancement. This module provides an overview of various support technologies and considers opportunities for deployment and integration.

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Module 10

Rural and Regional ITS Applications

The application of ITS in different geographic, jurisdictional, and land use contexts creates unique challenges and opportunities to ITS professionals. This module considers varying contexts, from rural applications to large, multi-state, multi-modal programs.

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Module 11

Sustainable Transportation

ITS technologies can support a number of sustainable transportation initiatives, including monitoring, evaluating, and enhancing system efficiency and sustainable transportation programs. This module explores opportunities to integrate ITS technologies in support of sustainable transportation.

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Module 12

Institutional Issues

Institutional issues with ITS are as complex and challenging as technological issues. Public concerns with personal privacy and political and organizational challenges with funding and legal requirements need to be addressed effectively to deploy ITS on a consistent and systematic basis. This module looks at several of these issues and provides guidance on addressing institutional concerns and opportunities.

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Module 13

Connected Vehicles

Connected vehicles offer a fundamental change in systems management and ITS infrastructure by focusing on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadway communication. This module looks at the current and emerging technology and the institutional, policy, and funding challenges of connected vehicle applications.

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Module 14

Emerging Issues

ITS, like other technology fields, is changing and evolving at an unprecedented pace, opening new fields and applications in transportation systems management. This module explores some of the emerging applications and technologies, as well as anticipated changes to current practices and infrastructure requirements.

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The ITS PCB Program would like to acknowledge the following individuals who volunteered their time to review the modules.

The ITS ePrimer is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or the use thereof. Content in the ePrimer does not constitute standards, specifications, or regulations. The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers mentioned in the ePrimer. Trade and manufacturers' names appear in the ePrimer only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.