Regional ITS Architecture Definition

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) have been defined as: "the application of advanced sensor, computer, electronics, and communication technologies and management strategies—in an integrated manner—to improve the safety and efficiency of the surface transportation system". This definition encompasses a broad array of systems and information processing and communications technologies. In order to fully incorporate ITS into the surface transportation network, ITS must be "mainstreamed" into the overall transportation planning and project development processes that exist in each state and metropolitan region of the country.


To support that effort a Regional ITS Architecture is developed as "a regional framework for ensuring institutional agreement and technical integration for the implementation of ITS projects or groups of projects". Regional ITS Architectures can be and have been developed and maintained by state departments of Transportation (DOTs) or by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) or Council of Governments (COGs) for a region, district, or state. The concept of a regional ITS architecture was first defined in 23 CFR 940 on Intelligent Transportation System Architecture and Standards. See "US DOT Policy on Regional ITS Architecture" below for more about the federal regulations dealing with ITS.


Title: Regional ITS Architecture Components - Description: Figure showing all the components of a regional ITS architecture and how they are related to each other. Scope (at the top) defines the structure for what's included in all the components below. Stakeholders will relate to Inventory, User Needs, Agreements, and Roles & Responsibilities. Inventory will lead to Functions/Requirements, Services, and Interfaces. Functions/Requirements will lead to interfaces along with Services. User Needs will lead to Services along with Inventory. Services will lead to Roles and Responsibilities. Planning Objectives or Strategies will lead to Services. Interfaces will lead to Standards. Finally all the components will be defined in a set of Projects.

Click one of the links below to learn more about Regional ITS Architectures:

  • Purpose – describes the purpose of a regional ITS architecture
  • US DOT Policy – describes the regulations behind the establishment of architectures in the US and how they are used
  • Components – contains all the components of a regional ITS architecture and how they are developed
  • Approach – describes different approaches to developing a regional ITS architecture either as an update to an existing architecture or as a new development effort

Architecture Maintenance will describe the effort to maintain an architecture and how to develop an architecture maintenance plan.

Using a Regional ITS Architecture answers “How can a regional ITS architecture be used to support transportation planning, both long term planning and programming of transportation projects?” and “How can a regional ITS architecture and its tools be used to support ITS project development?” Another section describes project ITS architectures from both the perspective of a regional ITS architecture and as part of a systems engineering analysis.

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