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2 Introduction

Intelligent Transportation Systems in the late 1980's was envisioned to be a tool for transportation practitioners to make transportation facilities more efficient and encourage a more regional view of transportation. What was probably not well understood at the time was the extent of new skills and capabilities that the transportation agencies would need to implement and meet the goals of ITS. Now, there is an awareness that implementing ITS is more challenging than expected. In the mid to late 1990's, systems engineering was introduced to the ITS community and it resonated with ITS practitioners. In 2001, the USDOT issued a new regulation which requires a systems engineering approach to the implementation of ITS projects. With the further recognition that additional guidance was needed, this Guidebook was conceived. Within this Guidebook are the following seven major chapters.

Chapter 1 – is the executive overview.

Chapter 2 – is the introduction containing the following front matter:

  • purpose
  • scope
  • background
  • intended audience
  • how to use the Guidebook

This chapter also includes a brief introduction to the systems engineering life cycle phases, key milestones, and activities.

Chapter 3 – is the core of this Guidebook. It describes the systems engineering process from interfacing with the regional ITS architecture to replacement and retirement.

Chapter 4 – describes the following key issues in ITS development:

  • systems engineering environment
  • estimating the amount of systems engineering needed
  • factors that drive the systems engineering environment
  • development models and strategies, relationship to the National ITS Architecture
  • relationship to transportation planning
  • relationship to industry standards

Also, included in Chapter 4 is what is needed in the system's owner support environment, common system's owner activities that already exist, and an introduction to systems engineering organizations.

Chapter 5 – describes a set of real world case studies and a list of key lessons learned from them.

Chapter 6 – describes the roles & responsibilities for the system's owner, consultant, and the development team.

Chapter 7 – describes the capabilities in the industry for systems engineering. It looks briefly at the Capabilities Maturity Model Integrated [CMMI] which is a standard way to assess how well systems engineering is performed.

Chapter 1 – is the appendices containing the following information:

  • glossary of acronyms, definitions, and terms
  • systems engineering references
  • requirements engineering tools
  • systems engineering documentation templates
  • case studies


Page last modified on September 20, 2016
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