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Resources for Practitioners

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 New 2022

Introduction to ITS and ITE ePrimer Overview

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 New 2021

Application of ITS in Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO)

This module discusses technologies and tools that support a number of transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) applications ranging from the centers that collect and synthesize a wide range of data, mobile, and fixed sensors in the field that collect data, and the types of communications that enable connectivity. Emerging issues and technologies anticipated to influence the application of ITS in TSMO are also highlighted.

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Module 4 New 2021

ITS Data in Decision Making

This module builds on the information provided in Module 3, “Application of ITS to Transportation Management Systems.” Module 4 focuses specifically on the application of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) in traffic operations and how transportation facility owners, operators, and stakeholders use ITS technologies described in the previous module to manage and operate transportation systems.

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Module 5 New 2022

ITS to Support Travelers

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 New 2022

Freight and Commercial Vehicle ITS

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, Electronic Payment Systems, 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 Updated 2021

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 New 2021

ITS in Emergencies and Disasters

This module provides basic information on how intelligent transportation systems (ITS) can support transportation operations during emergencies and disasters. It looks at operational resilience, emergency transportation operations (ETO), and traffic incident management (TIM) as they relate to ITS.

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Module 15

Port Operations

The purpose of this module is to provide an overview of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) related to port operations. This module also is intended to facilitate the expansion of United States (U.S.) port participation in the development, implementation and operations of ITS projects regionally, and in a port environment.

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Module 16 Updated 2021

ITS Emerging Opportunities and Challenges

This module describes key Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies that are presenting new challenges and opportunities for the transportation professional. It explains how the rapid developments in data, computing, and telecommunications are changing fundamental assumptions in transportation demand, supply, and operational management.

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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.

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For more information, contact:

Michelle Noch
ITS Professional Capacity Building Program Manager
ITS Joint Program Office
U.S. Department of Transportation
202-366-0278
Michelle.Noch@dot.gov

SUPPORT

Technical Assistance is available to Federal, State and local transportation agencies through:

ITS PCB Peer Exchange Program - An ITS PCB Peer Exchange puts you in touch with technical experts or experienced peers.

ITS Help Line - The ITS Help Line provides technical support by email or telephone at 866-367-7487.

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