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4.3 Relationship to the National ITS Architecture and FHWA Final Rule



This chapter describes the relationship of the National ITS Architecture and the FHWA Final Rule to the ITS systems development process described in this Guidebook.

National ITS Architecture

The Federal Highway Administration [FHWA] requires ITS projects using federal funds from the Highway Trust Fund [including the Mass Transit Account] to conform to the National ITS Architecture through the regional ITS architecture. The National ITS Architecture provides guidance for the development of ITS projects. It provides a flexible template of interconnections and interfaces to select from at the regional level. In fact, it provides a full range of elements that may be used as ideas [or starting points] for the concept of operations and requirements.

The National ITS Architecture is derived from ITS user services. They provide a catalog of features that could be provided by ITS projects for public or private users. Each has associated baseline requirements. They are organized into eight bundles [illustrated in Table 4‑1].

Travel and Traffic Management

Emergency Management

Public Transportation Management

Advanced Vehicle Safety Systems

Electronic Payment

Information Management

Commercial Vehicle Operations

Maintenance & Construction Operations.

Table 4‑1 User Service Bundles

The market packages address specific services such as surface street control. They suggest ideas for sub-systems to provide selected services. They are organized into eight service areas [illustrated in Table 4‑2].

Archived Data Management

Vehicle Safety

Public Transportation

Commercial Vehicle Operations

Traveler Information

Emergency Management

Traffic Management

Maintenance & Construction Management

Table 4‑2 Market Packages

A complete description of the National ITS Architecture is available from the USDOT ITS web site at http://www.its.dot.gov/research_archives/arch/.

The FHWA Final Rule on Architecture Standards and Conformity [Final Rule] requires the development of regional ITS architectures and that all ITS projects using federal funds be developed using a systems engineering analysis.

The elements of the Final Rule are as follows:

  • 940.5: Describes the requirement to use the National ITS Architecture to develop regional ITS architectures, and a need for consistency with transportation planning processes
  • 940.7: Describes the specific applicability of the regulation
  • 940.9: Describes the specific requirements for developing regional ITS architecture
  • 940.11: Describes the specific requirements for a systems engineering analysis
  • 940.13: Describes the project implementation requirements
  • 940.15: Describes the requirements for project oversight

23 CFR 940.11 specifies certain activities that are to be performed to accomplish a systems engineering analysis. They are as follows [with notation where this Guidebook will help with each]:

  • Identification of portions of the regional ITS architecture being implemented. Or, if a regional ITS architecture does not exist, the applicable portions of the National ITS Architecture] [Ch. 3.2.1 in this Guidebook];
  • Identification of participating agencies’ roles and responsibilities [Ch. 3.4.3 Con Ops & Chapters 6 & 7];
  • Requirements definitions [Ch. 3.5.1];
  • Analysis of alternative system configurations and technology options to meet requirements [Chips. 3.3.2, 3.5.2, and 3.5.3];
  • Procurement options [Ch. 4.9];
  • Identification of applicable ITS standards and testing procedures [Ch. 4.5]
  • Procedures and resources necessary for operations & maintenance of the system [Ch. 3.7.2].

State and Local Agency Programs

State DOT’s lay out the way for transportation agencies to show evidence of meeting the FHWA Final Rule. These procedures will vary from state to state. Most states have offices that specifically manage federal funding for local agencies and establish procedures for receiving funding.

Often, there are other state and regional regulations that guide project development. They are too numerous to discuss here. Be sure applicable regulations are understood before starting a project. The project will need to be compliant with them.

While this Guidebook has attempted to present a process that is applicable everywhere, there is no guarantee against conflicts between this book and local policies & regulations. In these cases, the local policies and regulations take precedence over this guidebook.

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Page last modified on September 21, 2016
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