ITS JPO HomeUpdated December 18, 2014 3:18 PM

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Application Areas

Arterial Management  Arterial management systems manage traffic along arterial roadways, employing traffic detectors, traffic signals, and various means of communicating information to travelers. These systems make use of information collected by traffic surveillance devices to smooth the flow of traffic along travel corridors. They also disseminate important information about travel conditions to travelers via technologies such as dynamic message signs (DMS) or highway advisory radio (HAR).

Freeway Management   There are six major ITS functions that make up freeway management systems: Traffic surveillance systems use detectors and video equipment to support the most advanced freeway management applications. Traffic control measures on freeway entrance ramps, such as ramp meters, can use sensor data to optimize freeway travel speeds and ramp meter wait times. Lane management applications can address the effective capacity of freeways and promote the use of high-occupancy commute modes. Special event transportation management systems can help control the impact of congestion at stadiums or convention centers. In areas with frequent events, large changeable destination signs or other lane control equipment can be installed. In areas with occasional or one-time events, portable equipment can help smooth traffic flow. Advanced communications have improved the dissemination of information to the traveling public. Motorists are now able to receive relevant information on location specific traffic conditions in a number of ways, including dynamic message signs, highway advisory radio, in-vehicle signing, or specialized information transmitted only to a specific set of vehicles. 

Crash Prevention & Safety   Crash prevention and safety systems detect unsafe conditions and provide warnings to travelers to take action to avoid crashes. These systems provide alerts for traffic approaching at dangerous curves, off ramps, restricted overpasses, highway-rail crossings, high-volume intersections, and also provide warnings of the presence of pedestrians, and bicyclists, and even animals on the roadway. Crash prevention and safety systems typically employ sensors to monitor the speed and characteristics of approaching vehicles and frequently also include environmental sensors to monitor roadway conditions and visibility. These systems may be either permanent or temporary. Some systems provide a general warning of the recommended speed for prevailing roadway conditions. Other systems provide a specific warning by taking into account the particular vehicle’s characteristics (truck or car) and a calculation of the recommended speed for the particular vehicle based on conditions. In some cases, manual systems are employed, for example where pedestrians or bicyclists manually set the system to provide warnings of their presence to travelers. 

Road Weather Management  Road weather management activities include road weather information systems (RWIS), winter maintenance technologies, and coordination of operations within and between state DOTs. ITS applications assist with the monitoring and forecasting of roadway and atmospheric conditions, dissemination of weather-related information to travelers, weather-related traffic control measures such as variable speed limits, and both fixed and mobile winter maintenance activities. 

Roadway Operations & Maintenance  ITS applications in operations and maintenance focus on integrated management of maintenance fleets, specialized service vehicles, hazardous road conditions remediation, and work zone mobility and safety. These applications monitor, analyze, and disseminate roadway and infrastructure data for operational, maintenance, and managerial uses. ITS can help secure the safety of workers and travelers in a work zone while facilitating traffic flow through and around the construction area. This is often achieved through the temporary deployment of other ITS services, such as elements of traffic management and incident management programs. 

Transit Management Transit ITS services include surveillance and communications, such as automated vehicle location (AVL) systems, computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems, and remote vehicle and facility surveillance cameras, which enable transit agencies to improve the operational efficiency, safety, and security of the nation's public transportation systems.

Traffic Incident Management  Traffic incident management systems can reduce the effects of incident-related congestion by decreasing the time to detect incidents, the time for responding vehicles to arrive, and the time required for traffic to return to normal conditions. Incident management systems make use of a variety of surveillance technologies, often shared with freeway and arterial management systems, as well as enhanced communications and other technologies that facilitate coordinated response to incidents. 

Emergency Management ITS applications in emergency management include hazardous materials management, the deployment of emergency medical services, and large and small-scale emergency response and evacuation operations. 

Electronic Payment & Pricing  Electronic Payment & Pricing Electronic payment systems employ various communication and electronic technologies to facilitate commerce between travelers and transportation agencies, typically for the purpose of paying tolls and transit fares. Pricing refers to charging motorists a fee or toll that varies with the level of demand or with the time of day.

Traveler Information  Traveler information applications use a variety of technologies, including Internet websites, telephone hotlines, as well as television and radio, to allow users to make more informed decisions regarding trip departures, routes, and mode of travel. Ongoing implementation of the designated 511 telephone number will improve access to traveler information across the country Benefits. 

Information Management  Information Management ITS information management supports the archiving and retrieval of data generated by other ITS applications and enables ITS applications that use archived information. Decision support systems, predictive information, and performance monitoring are some ITS applications enabled by ITS information management. In addition, ITS information management systems can assist in transportation planning, research, and safety management activities.

Commercial Vehicle Operations   Commercial Vehicle Operations ITS applications for commercial vehicle operations are designed to enhance communication between motor carriers and regulatory agencies. Examples include electronic registration and permitting programs, electronic exchange of inspection data between regulating agencies for better inspection targeting, electronic screening systems, and several applications to assist operators with fleet operations and security.

Intermodal Freight  Intermodal Freight ITS can facilitate the safe, efficient, secure, and seamless movement of freight. Applications being deployed provide for tracking of freight and carrier assets such as containers and chassis, and improve the efficiency of freight terminal processes, drayage operations, and international border crossings. 
Intelligent Vehicles

Collision Avoidance  To improve the ability of drivers to avoid accidents, vehicle-mounted collision warning systems (CWS) continue to be tested and deployed. These applications use a variety of sensors to monitor the vehicle’s surroundings and alert the driver of conditions that could lead to a collision. Examples include forward collision warning, obstacle detection systems, and road departure warning systems. 

Collision Notification  Collision Notification In an effort to improve response times and save lives, collision notification systems have been designed to detect and report the location and severity of incidents to agencies and services responsible for coordinating appropriate emergency response actions. These systems can be activated manually (Mayday), or automatically with automatic collision notification (ACN), and advanced systems may transmit information on the type of crash, number of passengers, and the likelihood of injuries. 

Driver Assistance  Numerous intelligent vehicle technologies exist to assist the driver in operating the vehicle safely. Systems are available to aid with navigation, while others, such as vision enhancement and speed control systems, are intended to facilitate safe driving during adverse conditions. Other systems assist with difficult driving tasks such as transit and commercial vehicle docking.

 

Additional ITS Resources on the Federal Highway Administration Office of Operations Website




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