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2.3 Background

The systems engineering process is not new to the transportation domain. A systems approach has been used to build capital projects [highways] for many years. What is relatively new is the application of rapidly changing technology to the transportation domain. The use of this technology has expanded the role of the traditional transportation practitioner into new areas of applying software, computers, electronic sensors, information technology, and communications to improve the efficiency of transportation facilities. This is a significant change from traditional capital development and small signal systems projects of the past. A new set of skills and processes are required to harness these technologies [hardware and software] to the agency’s advantage. In addition to new technologies, Intelligent Transportation Systems are becoming inter-regional, with large numbers of stakeholders working together. Individual agency systems now need to interface with other jurisdictions, forming larger regional systems. These institutional arrangements and co-operating systems require a higher degree of discipline to implement. A process is needed to successfully implement, document, and maintain these systems over a life cycle of many years.

This Guidebook is intended to provide guidance in applying a disciplined approach to the development of ITS systems within an environment of rapidly changing technology.

 

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