As of October 1, 2016, the SWUTC concluded its 28 years of operation and is no longer an active center of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The archived SWUTC website remains available here.


SWUTC Research Project Description

Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Strategic Plan

University: Texas A&M University

Principal Investigator:
Ed Seymour
Texas Transportation Institute
(972) 994-0433

Funding Source: SPR Program

Total Project Cost: $433,790

Project Number: 0-6672

Date Started: 9/1/12

Estimated Completion Date: 8/31/13

Project Summary

Project Abstract:
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is facing unprecidented financial constraints while being asked to maximize the safety and mobility of the existing state transportation system.  TxDOT’s public agency partners are facing similar constraints delivering transportation services as well.  The ability of TxDOT’s partners to support and lead aspects of operating and managing the transportation network varies by region of the state.  At the same time, technology and communication are evolving as well as the private sector’s ability to deliver data, equipment, and services.  Within this environment, TxDOT needs to set a new direction for participating and delivering intelligent transportation systems.  Recent efforts to solicit stakeholder input have produced data important to long range decision-making, as well as promoting good will with the stakeholders.  Strategic planning for ITS-related services has similar strong potential.  Through effective listening to key stakeholders, TxDOT will be able to identify the highest priority needs with which stakeholders may be willing to assist, as well as low priority services that all agree can be discontinued.  The focus can be directed to critical outcomes, regardless how delivered, rather than on legacy equipment or services that may or may not actually be beneficial.  With the focus on the priority outcomes, TxDOT can then explore alternative approaches to accomplishing the goals.  During the course of this project, Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), will solicit input from key (but not all) stakeholders in each region that currently enjoys any meaningful level of ITS services.  To the degree possible, these interviews should be done in small groups, organized to include people with common, not conflicting, interests.  Then TTI will work to build consensus among participating agencies in the production of planning documents for ITS Strategic Solutions.

Project Objectives:
The TTI team will focus on the ITS Strategic Plan to provide guidance to TxDOT regarding the best approach to accomplishing the goal of maximizing the safety and mobility of the existing state transportation system.

Task Descriptions:

Task 1:  Gather Background Information

Task 2:  Define Preliminary Issues Related to ITS

Task 3:  Assess National Trends in ITS

Task 4:  Develop a White Paper on the State of the ITS Industry

Task 5:  Conduct a Peer State Review

Task 6:  Examine Emerging Technologies and National Trends

Task 7:  Examine ITS Funding

Task 8:  Conduct Regional “Needs” Meetings with TxDOT Staff and Stakeholders

Task 9:  Examine Potential for Privatization, Public-Public Partnerships, and Public-Private Partnerships

Task 10:  Examine the Current TxDOT Processes for ITS Planning, Design, Specification and Procurement

Task 11:  Identify Draft Solutions Vision

Task 12:  Examine Emerging Technologies and National Trends

Task 13:  Conduct Regional “Solutions” Meetings with TxDOT Staff and Stakeholders

Task 14:  Develop Draft ITS Strategic Plan and Vet with TxDOT and Stakeholders

Task 15:  Develop Final ITS Strategic Plan

Implementation of Research Outcomes:
The purpose of this research was to provide a framework to guide the development and deployment of an integrated statewide program for intelligent transportation systems (ITS). ITS is a critical component of the transportation infrastructure that helps ensure the system operates in the most efficient way possible every day and night, and during all types of situations and weather conditions. It helps travelers:
• Get to their destinations without getting lost.
• Know about changing weather and traffic conditions that may impact their trip.
• Make multimodal choices in congested corridors.
• Plan a reliable trip.
• Even evacuate safely in times of emergency.

This research produced a report that assessed the current U.S. trends in ITS and related initiatives, interviewed ITS stakeholders across Texas to determine needs, and a peer state review.  The resulting plan provides a framework to guide the development and deployment of an integrated statewide program for Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation:
The Texas Transportation Commission, TxDOT, and the broad community of ITS providers, stakeholders, and agency partners will use the plan developed in this project to promote the development, deployment, and use of ITS statewide. If this plan is to succeed, it needs the cooperation of all affected groups involved in ITS and transportation planning, design, funding, and implementation in the state. The TxDOT ITS Strategic Plan 2013:
• Provides concise ITS Strategic Plan goals and objectives for TxDOT.
• Highlights the ITS priorities from the regional and local perspective.
• Summarizes national trends in ITS strategies.
• Presents a status report on regional ITS in Texas.
• Introduces anticipated ITS services that TxDOT may need in the future.
• Presents a candidate ITS archetype as potential guidance for moving forward with ITS across the state.

Web Links:
Final Report