Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
ITS Joint Program Office

About ITS Standards

National ITS Architecture

What is it?   |   Connecting Standards   |   Connecting to Regional & Project Architectures

What is the National ITS Architecture?

The National ITS Architecture provides a common framework for planning, defining, and integrating ITS. It defines the functions that must be performed by subsystems, where these functions reside (e.g., field, traffic management center, in vehicle), the interfaces and architecture flows to/from the subsystems, and the communications requirements for the architecture flows. It is a mature product that reflects the contributions of a broad cross-section of the ITS community (e.g., transportation practitioners, systems engineers, system developers, technology specialists).

National ITS Architecture Layers

National ITS Architecture graphic. Graphic description is in paragraph immediately before graphic.

Connecting ITS Standards to the National ITS Architecture

One of the main goals for the creation of the National ITS Architecture was to define the key interfaces for standardization. Architecture flows (and their constituent detailed data flows) serve as the basis for much of the standards work on the ITS Standards Program. ITS Standards have been developed for many of the architecture flows in the National ITS Architecture, and this mapping of standards to architecture flows is available on the National ITS Architecture website. By selecting an architecture flow, potential ITS standards to consider during deployment are listed.

Figure shows developers, planners, and deployers thinking about the same High-Level National ITS Architecture diagram

Within the framework of the National ITS Architecture, ITS standards developers can identify standards for development that will meet the user's needs, ITS planners can integrate regional ITS elements using these ITS standards and achieve their interoperability goals, and ITS deployers can select the ITS standards that reduce risk to their deployment and thus help to manage costs and schedule.

Connecting ITS Standards to the Regional and Project ITS Architectures

ITS planners, deployers and other stakeholders tailor the National ITS Architecture to create Regional ITS Architectures that meet their specific needs. Regional ITS Architectures therefore consist of functions within ITS elements and architecture flows that interconnect each of the ITS elements in the region (and with ITS elements outside the region). Since architecture flows are mapped to ITS standards in the National ITS Architecture, and since a Regional ITS Architecture represents a slice of the National ITS Architecture, the standards mapping to architecture flows is also readily available. The same holds true when developing Project ITS Architectures (a Regional ITS Architecture is composed of the regional Project ITS Architectures).

ITS Architectural Relationships graphic.  Graphic is described in paragraph immediately before graphic.

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