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1997 *














ITS Deployment















* Funded from multiple sources (ISTEA, GOE)

Program Purpose

The ITS program provides for the research, development, and operational testing of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) aimed at solving congestion and safety problems, improving operating efficiencies in transit and commercial vehicles, and reducing the environmental impact of growing travel demand. Proven technologies that are technically feasible and highly cost effective will be deployed nationwide as a component of the surface transportation systems of the United States.


Contract authority is specifically provided for ITS research & development and deployment incentives as shown in the above table.

In addition, TEA-21 clarifies that other Federal-aid highway funds may be used for ITS activities as follows:

ITS Program Elements

The ITS program is divided into two key areas—

Research and Development [5207]

A comprehensive program of research, development and operational tests of intelligent vehicles and intelligent infrastructure systems is authorized; priority areas are outlined.

Operational tests are to be designed to permit objective evaluations, obtain cost-benefit information and develop and implement standards.

The Urban Consortium’s ITS outreach and technology transfer activities shall be allocated $500,000/year. [5212(b)]

Deployment Incentives

ITS Integration - to accelerate ITS integration and interoperability in metropolitan and rural areas. [5208]

Commercial Vehicle ITS Infrastructure Deployment - to advance the technological capability and promote deployment of ITS applications to Commercial Vehicle Operations; priorities are established. [5209]

The following projects are mandated from deployment funds:

National ITS Program Plan [5205]

US DOT, working with ITS America, is to maintain and update as necessary a National ITS Program Plan.

The scope of this plan shall include the following:

National Architecture and Standards [5206]

US DOT is to develop, implement and maintain a National Architecture and supporting standards and protocols to promote the widespread use of ITS technology, ensuring interoperability and efficiency to the maximum extent practicable.

A report identifying critical standards is due on June 1, 1999; provisional standards shall be established by the Secretary if critical standards are not developed by January 1, 2001. Options for waivers to this provision are detailed.

USDOT shall ensure that ITS projects funded from the Highway Trust Fund conform to the national architecture, applicable standards or provisional standards and protocols.

Spectrum [5205(f)]

US DOT and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are to work together to define needs, including spectrum for the dedicated short-range vehicle-to-wayside wireless standard.

The FCC has until January 1, 2000 to complete a rulemaking considering the allocation of spectrum for ITS.

Program Administration

Procurement methods [5204(I)]

Project evaluation - Issue guidelines for the evaluation of operational tests and deployment projects, stressing objectivity and independence. [5204(j)]

Limitations on use of funds [5210]

September 14, 1998

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