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ITS ePrimer Presentation

Module 1: ITS ePrimer Introduction and Overview

(Note: The following PowerPoint presentation is a supplement to the module.)

Slide 1: ITS ePrimer Introduction and Overview

Header banner and triskalion logo of the United States Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration

March 9, 2016


photo of Pat Noyes

Pat Noyes
Pat Noyes & Associates
Boulder, CO, USA

Author Notes for Slide 1:
This presentation is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation's ITS Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program. The ITS PCB Program is a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration's ITS Joint Program Office.

Thank you for participating, and we hope you find this presentation helpful.

Slide 2: Welcome

  • USDOT is committed to advancing ITS
  • The ITS ePrimer provides an opportunity to bring state-of-the-art information to professionals, students, and public officials
  • The online platform takes advantage of advancements in Internet-based learning

See the extended photo description below.

(Extended Text Description: Screenshot of the ITS ePrimer homepage listing the fourteen ePrimer modules: Introduction to ITS; Systems Engineering; Transportation Management Systems; Traffic Operations; Personal Transportation; Freight, Intermodal, and CVO; Public Transportation; Electronic Toll Collection and Pricing; Supporting ITS Technologies; Rural and Regional ITS Applications; Sustainable Transportation; Institutional Issues; Connected Vehicles; and Emerging Issues.)

Slide 3: ITS ePrimer Overview

  • Update to 2000 Intelligent Transportation Primer
  • Target audience
    • Practitioners - public, private, vendors
    • Students and academicians
    • Public officials and decision-makers
  • Multimodal focus
  • Internet-based to allow
    • Multi-media resources
    • Easy access by target audience
    • Timely updates and additions

Slide 4: Project Structure

  • Project Management Team
    • USDOT ITS Joint Program Office (JPO)
    • FHWA Office of Transportation Management
    • Federal Transit Administration
    • Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)
    • ITS America
    • Technical Editor
  • 14 Module Authors
  • Volunteer Peer Reviewers

Slide 5: Products

  • Series of 14 Web-based modules providing a basic introduction to key ITS topics
  • Full set of detailed PowerPoint slides to accompany each of the ePrimer modules
  • The ePrimer is posted on the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program Web site of the USDOT's ITS JPO at:

Slide 6: Learning Objectives

  • Presents Module 1: Introduction to ITS
  • Introduces the 13 subject modules
  • Provides an overview of the online format
  • Announces upcoming webinars on other modules

Slide 7: What is ITS?

  • ITS applies information, technology, and systems engineering to the management and operation of surface transportation facilities
  • It is an engineering discipline that encompasses
    • Research
    • Planning
    • Design
    • Integration
    • Deployment

Slide 8: Introduction to ITS

  • ITS brings diverse disciplines together to deliver
    • Safe,
    • Efficient, and
    • Sustainable transportation
  • ITS enhances transportation infrastructure investments
  • ITS supports system management and operation
    • Multimodal
    • Local, regional, state

Slide 9: Examples of How ITS Enhances Our Lives

Adaptive signal control technology uses real-time traffic information to

  • Cut costs
  • Reduce congestion
  • Improve traffic flow
  • Reduce emissions
  • Respond to incidents, special events, and recurring congestion

See the extended photo description below.

(Extended Text Description: Time-lapse photo of a busy four-way intersection at dusk: Four lanes of traffic are stacked up in three directions at red lights; streaks of light along the fourth direction indicate traffic motion.)

Slide 10: Examples of How ITS Enhances Our Lives (cont'd)

Active traffic management

  • Reduces collisions
  • Reduces congestion
  • Enhances emergency response
  • Enhances emergency management

See the extended photo description below.

(Extended Text Description: Photo of a five-lane highway with a variable speed limit sign above each lane.)

Slide 11: ITS Applications

  • Multimodal
    • Auto
    • Transit
    • Freight
    • Bicycles
    • Pedestrians
  • Facility Types
    • Highways
    • Arterials
    • Fixed guideways
    • Bikeways
    • Sidewalks
    • Multimodal facilities

Slide 12: Transportation Challenges

  • Increasing demand: 95% increase in VMT over 30 years
  • Minimal increase in capacity: less than 9% increase in number of lane miles in same period

See the extended photo description below.

(Extended Text Description: FHWA Highway Statistics vertical bar graph that displays the percent change from 1980 to 2010 of three measurements: Public Road Mileage (6%), Lane Miles (9%), and Vehicle Miles Traveled (95%))

Slide 13: Transportation Challenges (cont'd)

  • Funding levels have not kept pace with needs, increasing pressure to do more with less

See the extended photo description below.

(Extended Text Description: FHWA Highway Statistics vertical bar graph that displays Highway Trust Fund Expenditures in 1980 ($7 billion), 1990 ($15 billion), 2000 ($33 billion), and 2010 ($39 billion))

Slide 14: History of ITS

  • 1988: Mobility 2000 - working group focused on national program of automated technology
  • 1991: ISTEA - encouraged new technologies to improve safety, information exchange, system capacity, and travel times
  • 1990s: National Architecture and Standards Program initiated
  • Late 1990s: Term ITS emerged to include more multimodal focus

Slide 15: History of ITS (continued)

  • 2012: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) - created a streamlined, performance-based surface transportation program with an increased focus on system management
  • 2015: Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) - largely continues previous program structures with an 11% increase in funding over 5 years

Slide 16: Poll Question 2

How familiar are you with the ITS architecture for your agency?

  • Unsure if one exists
  • Aware of it but am not familiar with the content
  • Participated in its development
  • Use it regularly as a tool for planning and deploying the ITS system

Slide 17: ITS Architecture and Standards

  • National ITS Architecture
    • Guides ITS programs at the national level
  • Regional Architecture
    • Developed for regional implementation areas
    • Required for ITS programs using Federal funds
  • ITS Standards
    • Provide technical guidance and requirements for each component of an ITS system

Author Notes for Slide 17:
Whereas the National ITS Architecture guides ITS programs at the national level and addresses all subsystems, technologies, and standards, regional ITS architectures define the plans, programs, goals, and objectives for implementation on a more localized basis. A regional ITS architecture is developed for regional implementation areas through the participation of regional stakeholders, including highway and transit agencies, public safety agencies, motor carrier organizations, and other public transportation facility owners and managers.

Any region that implements an ITS program is required to develop a regional ITS architecture if it is using Federal funds. Although a regional architecture will not include all subsystems or services within the National ITS Architecture, it must use the National ITS Architecture as a template for those programs and services it does include.

A regional ITS architecture is developed to meet the specific needs of a region, define program goals, identify a concept of operation, develop institutional agreements, and focus on technical integration of ITS systems within the region. Crafting a regional ITS architecture builds a shared vision for ITS implementation and advances regional transportation improvement programs and long-range transportation plans by defining goals and planning operations for regional ITS programs.

The ITS Standards Program focuses on interfaces and information exchanges identified in the National ITS Architecture to ensure that development and implementation of the system and system components by Federal, State, and local agencies, as well as private sector developers and vendors, maintain technological compatibility and functional communications. Standards development is supported by the ITS Standards Program of USDOT's ITS JPO and provides a collaborative process to define and update standards for use by all public and private entities involved in the development of ITS applications and technology. The ITS Standards Program works with standards development organizations, such as the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), to address interface requirements between different ITS applications.

ITS standards provide the technical guidance and requirements for each component of an ITS system. They guide every aspect of technical applications and system communications, and compliance is required for all applications. The collaboration between a broad range of stakeholders to develop the ITS standards continues through standards management and professional capacity building.

Slide 18: ITS Architecture

More information on the ITS Architecture is available in Module 2 of the ITS ePrimer

Author Notes for Slide 18: The National ITS Architecture includes three architectural layers: institutional, transportation, and communications. The institutional layer is built to address transportation system user needs and to support ITS planning and project development. Currently 33 user services are identified and grouped into eight user service bundles: travel and traffic management, public transportation management, electronic payment, commercial vehicle operations, emergency management, advanced vehicle safety systems, information management, and maintenance and construction operations. The institutional layer also establishes the program objectives and requirements and addresses institutional policies, processes, and funding mechanisms that support the ITS program.

See the extended photo description below.

(Extended Text Description: ITS Architecture flow chart graphic showing the inputs to the three architecture layers: Communications (Standards, Security); Transportation (Logical Architecture {Processes, Data Flows}, Physical Architecture {Physical Entities, Equipment Packages, Architecture Flows}, Security, Service Packages); and Institutional (Security, User Services, Architecture Use {Use in Planning, Use in Project Development}))

Slide 19: Growth of ITS Deployment

  • Public sector investment in ITS nearly tripled in 15 years - $18.5 billion in 2010
  • 85% of freeway operations agencies using CCTV and DMS in 2010
  • 80% of fixed-route buses using electronic fare payments in 2010
  • Private sector investment in commercial vehicle management
  • Public-private initiatives in tolling and connected vehicle applications

Author Notes for Slide 19: The nation's public sector investment in ITS nearly tripled in 15 years, from approximately $6.5 billion in 1997 to $18.5 billion in 2010. Technologies such as electronic toll collection systems have achieved near universal deployment, while other applications, such as arterial surveillance and freeway communications, have seen some of the greatest growth in deployment. Regional planning policies and ITS architectures have stimulated deployment through increased funding and prioritization. In 2000, two-thirds of freeway operations agencies were using closed-circuit television cameras for surveillance and dynamic message signs for traveler information; by 2010 this had grown to about 85 percent of these agencies. The use of electronic fare payments on fixed-route buses increased from 30 percent in 1997 to 80 percent in 2010. In major urban areas, 50 percent of signalized arterial intersections are now covered by electronic surveillance cameras and 17 percent of arterial miles are covered by service patrols.

Private sector investments in ITS deployment can be seen in commercial vehicle management and fleet vehicle tracking, and in public-private initiatives in tolling and connected vehicle applications. The demand for increased deployment by system users continues to grow as travel reliability and safety are improved. Technology advances that make deployment more efficient and more cost-effective, combined with expanded opportunities with emerging technologies, continue to fuel the deployment of ITS applications across the country. A study conducted by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) predicts continued expansion of the ITS industry, with expected industry revenues to climb over 40 percent from 2009 through 2015. The study determined that the economic impact of the ITS industry is significant, with an estimated end-use ITS market of $48 billion. It concluded that the "U.S. ITS market revenues exceed those for electronic computers, motion picture and video products, direct mail advertising, or internet advertising… and anticipates continuing expansion and a projected CY 2015 total U.S. private sector ITS market of $67 billion.“


USDOT RITA, Deployment Tracking Survey Results, 2010,

ITS Market Research Report,

Slide 20: The Future Vision for ITS

Transforming transportation through connectivity to maximize

  • Safety
  • Mobility
  • Environmental performance

See the extended photo description below.

(Extended Text Description: Computer-generated image of traffic moving in two directions through a busy intersection. Three concentric yellow circles surround each vehicle and represent Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication.)

Author Notes for slide 20: In May 2014, the USDOT's ITS Joint Program Office released a five-year ITS Strategic Plan 2015-2019 focused on transforming the way society moves. The ITS Strategic Plan builds on prior and current research and focuses on realizing connected vehicle (CV) implementation, advancing automation, and shaping the ITS Program around research, development and adoption of emerging automation-related technologies. The strategic themes of the plan align with USDOT strategic priorities:  enable safer vehicles and roadways, enhance mobility, limit environmental impacts, promote innovation, and support transportation system information sharing.

The Connected Vehicle Program offers a fundamental shift in the vision for ITS programs and applications. By focusing on information collected by and distributed between vehicles, the program presents opportunities for real-time information sharing, and it expands vehicle operations tremendously with minimal improvements needed for field and center subsystems. Connected vehicle development and deployment require a robust technological platform that integrates research in systems engineering, human factors, international standards and architecture, and connected vehicle applications. The connected vehicle environment of the future will require vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. It also will require research and analysis of the policy and institutional issues associated with connected vehicles. The work being done on connected vehicles is multimodal and multinational, and it involves public and private sector investment and initiatives.

Source: USDOT, ITS Strategic Plan, 2015–2019,

Slide 21: How to Use the ITS ePrimer

  1. Modules are structured around specific topic areas and intended to stand on their own
  2. 14 different authors - level of detail varies across modules, and some topics are cross-cutting/overlapping
  3. Users should take advantage of interactive nature of modules, including multi-media links imbedded throughout

Slide 22: Content Outline

  1. Introduction to ITS
    • Provides an overview of ITS including history, benefits, and future vision
  2. Systems Engineering
    • Presents an overview of systems engineering and its relation to ITS architecture, planning, and deployment
  3. Application of ITS to Transportation Management Systems
    • Focuses on the ITS tools and applications used in managing transportation systems

Slide 23: Content Outline (cont'd)

  1. Traffic Operations
    • Demonstrates successful application of ITS systems to the effective operation of the transportation system and examines how traffic management centers incorporate and integrate ITS applications to address safety and reliability
  2. Personal Transportation
    • Explains the capabilities, features, and limitations of personal transportation applications to enhance traveler mobility and accessibility
  3. Freight, Intermodal, and Commercial Vehicle Operations
    • Describes ITS freight applications and discusses benefits including enhanced safety, security, and efficiency

Slide 24: Content Outline (cont'd)

  1. Public Transportation
    • Identifies a broad range of ITS applications in public transportation and describes how they enhance efficiency, convenience, safety, and security
  2. Electronic Tolling and Pricing
    • Provides an introduction to electronic payment systems applications and pricing strategies
  3. Supporting ITS Technologies
    • Describes various supporting ITS technologies and considers opportunities for deployment and integration

Slide 25: Content Outline (cont'd)

  1. Rural and Regional ITS Applications
    • Identifies unique transportation needs in rural areas and applies lessons from successful ITS deployments in rural and regional settings
  2. Sustainable Transportation
    • Explores opportunities to integrate ITS technologies in support of sustainable transportation
  3. Institutional Issues
    • Defines institutional challenges encountered in planning, deploying, and maintaining ITS and provides guidance on addressing institutional concerns

Slide 26: Content Outline (cont'd)

  1. Connected Vehicles (CV)
    • Examines current and emerging CV technologies and discusses institutional, policy, legal, and funding challenges associated with CV applications
  2. ITS Emerging Opportunities and Challenges
    • Explores emerging ITS applications and demonstrates how these technologies are being used to achieve society's goals and objectives

Slide 27: Multi-media Examples

  • Videos: Click here to view an example of a video on adaptive signals (Source: Module 3)
  • Online trainings: Click here to view an example of an ITS Standards training series (Source: Module 1)
  • Technology demonstrations: Click here to view an example of the Volvo Emergency Break System (Source: Module 14)
  • Smartphone apps: Click here to view an example of SFMTA's SF park (Source: Module 7)
  • Webinars: Click here to view an example of ITE's offerings (Source: Module 12)
  • Web sites: Click here to view an example of ITS America Web site (Source: Module 13)

Key Message: 

  • Variety of media and resources
  • Clickable links provide access to examples and greater detail
  • Some links lead to different websites and training resources

See the extended photo description below.

(Extended Text Description: Photo of five smartphones, each displaying a different screen from traffic apps.)

See the extended photo description below.

(Extended Text Description: Computer-generated image of a curving elevated highway through a section of a city with tall buildings. There are two concentric circles emanating from a point below the elevated highway.)

Slide 28: ITS ePrimer Online Products

  • Available online
    • 14 modules
    • PowerPoint slides with speaker notes and suggested audience interaction for each module

See the extended photo description below.

(Extended Text Description: Screenshot of the ITS ePrimer homepage listing the fourteen ePrimer modules: Introduction to ITS; Systems Engineering; Transportation Management Systems; Traffic Operations; Personal Transportation; Freight, Intermodal, and CVO; Public Transportation; Electronic Toll Collection and Pricing; Supporting ITS Technologies; Rural and Regional ITS Applications; Sustainable Transportation; Institutional Issues; Connected Vehicles; and Emerging Issues.)

Slide 29: For More Information

Slide 30: Contact and Resources

Back to top

For more information, contact:

Michelle Noch
ITS Professional Capacity Building Program Manager
ITS Joint Program Office
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R)
U.S. Department of Transportation



Get technical support

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

ITS Peer Program - The ITS Peer-to-Peer Program 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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