8. Glossary

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Adaptive Cruise Control.
Automated Collision Notification system.
Automated Highway System. The AHS is a highly advanced system that will redefine the current vehicle-highway relationship by shifting many tasks from the vehicle operator to the roadway itself. The first demonstration of the AHS concept was in San Diego in August 1997.
Advanced Public Transportation Systems. Collection of technologies to increase the efficiency of public transportation systems; they offer users greater access to information on system operations.
An overarching framework that allows individual ITS services and technologies to work together, share information, and yield synergistic benefits. The National ITS Architecture was released as a final document in June 1996.
Advanced Rural Transportation Systems. These are ITS technologies aimed at addressing the specific needs of rural communities, particularly the issues of mobility and road safety.
Advanced Traveler Information Systems. ATIS technologies provide travelers, businesses, commercial carriers, and transportation professionals with the information they need to make decisions, from daily individual travel decisions to larger-scale decisions that affect the entire system, such as those concerning incident management.
Advanced Traffic Management Systems. ATMS technologies apply surveillance and control strategies to improve traffic flow on highways and streets.
Automatic Vehicle Identification. A system which combines an on-board tag or transponder with roadside receiver for the automated identification of vehicles. Used for electronic toll collection, stolen vehicle recovery, using vehicles as traffic probes, etc.
Advanced Vehicle Collision and Safety Systems. These systems employ mostly in-vehicle technologies to help drivers avoid collisions, monitor driver performance, and automatically signal for emergency aid immediately upon collision.
Automatic Vehicle Location system. Computerized system that tracks the current location of fleet vehicles, to assist dispatching, etc.
Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks. A network that connects existing Federal, State, and private-sector information systems to improve commercial-vehicle movement.
Commercial Vehicle Operations. ITS program to apply advanced technologies to commercial-vehicle operations, including commercial-vehicle electronic clearance; automated roadside safety inspection; electronic purchase of credentials; automated mileage and fuel reporting and auditing; safety status monitoring; communication between drivers, dispatchers, and intermodal transportation providers; and immediate notification of incidents and descriptions of hazardous materials involved.
Data Acquisition System for Crash Avoidance Research. A portable, on-board vehicle data-gathering system that monitors and records vehicle performance and the driver's physical reactions.
Differential Global Positioning System. A technique that can be applied by civilian GPS users to improve GPS accuracy to 1-10 meters.
Department of Transportation. When used alone, indicates U.S. Department of Transportation. In conjunction with a place name, indicates State, city, or county transportation Agency (e.g., Illinois DOT or Los Angeles DOT).
Dedicated Short-Range Communications. Wireless, short-range digital communications. Uses electronic readers, tags, and software.
Electronic Data Interchange. A recognized technology format and standard for moving "packets" of data.
Early Deployment Plans.
Emergency Management Services. Services designed to optimize the response time to incidents.
Emergency Response Providers Enabling Research. Applied research that advances existing technologies, enabling them to support ITS applications. This research has refined technology for eventual field testing, developed evaluation methods to determine potential benefits and cost effectiveness, developed human factors guidelines, and established performance specifications and criteria.
Program standing for Evaluating New Technologies for Roads Program Initiative in Safety and Efficiency. International public sector cooperative initiative to facilitate the rapid development and deployment of ITS technologies. Participants include Arizona DOT, Colorado DOT, Dutch Ministry of Transport, FHWA, Iowa DOT, Maricopa County, AZ, Minnesota DOT, New York DOT, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Transport Canada, Virginia DOT, and Washington State DOT.
Federal Communications Commission.
Federal Highway Administration, which is part of USDOT.
Freeway Management Systems. Network systems giving transportation managers the capability to monitor highway and environmental conditions on the freeway system, identify recurring and non-recurring flow impediments, implement appropriate control and management strategies, and provide collection and dissemination of critical real-time information to travelers.
Federal Operational Test.
Federal Railroad Administration, which is part of USDOT.
Federal Transit Administration, which is part of USDOT.
Gary-Chicago-Milwaukee corridor. One of the ITS Priority Corridor projects as defined by ISTEA to receive funding for applying ITS to assist in reducing extreme or severe ozone. The initial GCM priority is real-time data acquisition and the sharing of information across the corridor that is useful to both multi-modal system operators and travelers.
Geographic Information System. Computerized data management system designed to capture, store, retrieve, analyze, and report on geographic/demographic information.
Government Performance and Results Act.
Global Positioning System. Government-owned system of 24 Earth-orbiting satellites which transmit data to ground-based receivers and used to determine the precise position of vehicles on the ground. Provides extremely accurate latitude/longitude ground position.
Highway-Rail Intersection. User service that integrates ITS technology into already existing HRI warning systems to enhance safety effectiveness and operational efficiency. At railroad grade crossings, HRI technologies located both in-vehicle and along the roadside ensure that train movements are coordinated with traffic signals and that drivers are alerted to approaching trains.
Human Factors
Research conducted to understand the impact of automated technology on human decision-making and driving behavior. For instance, studies are being done to investigate whether the use of cellular phones while driving distracts drivers to the extent that more accidents occur with their use.
Intelligent Cruise Control. A crash avoidance technology that automatically adjusts vehicle cruise speed to maintain safe following distances.
Incident Management Systems. Monitoring and surveillance systems that identify the occurrence of incidents in real-time so that they can be quickly located and removed.
Seamless integration of multiple travel modes.
The ability to integrate the operation of diverse networks and systems. The vision of the intelligent transportation infrastructure is a seamless interoperable coast-to-coast network that allows drivers and information to flow through the system without barriers.
In-Vehicle Navigation Technology
Allows drivers to access route guidance information while en-route. Includes location referencing technology, in-vehicle display units, map information, and audio/text delivery technology.
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. Federal law providing primary Federal funding for highway and other surface transportation programs in the United States through 1997. ISTEA contains the Intelligent Vehicle-Highway System Act. Directs the establishment of a National ITS program and requires inclusion of a strategic plan for ITS in the United States, implementation and evaluation of ITS technologies, development of standards protocols, an information clearinghouse, the use of advisory committees (one of which is ITS America), and funding for ITS research, development, and testing in such efforts as the corridors program.
Intelligent Transportation System(s). The application of advanced technologies to improve the efficiency and safety of transportation systems.
ITS America
Intelligent Transportation Society of America. A nonprofit, public/private scientific and educational organization that works to advance a national program for safer, more economical, more energy efficient, and environmentally sound highway travel in the United States. The USDOT uses ITS America as a Federal expert advisory resource and panel.
Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems. Now known as "intelligent transportation systems."
Intelligent Vehicle Initiative.
Joint Program Office for ITS. This office resides in FHWA.
An information center for traffic or travel data located in shopping malls, parking decks, hotels, airports, businesses, transit terminals, etc. These kiosks are normally outfitted with interactive computer capabilities.
Local Area Network. A method of connecting several computers together using either high- or low-bandwidth communication media.
Location Referencing
Technology that identifies locations of vehicles, incidents, and travelers. Used with GPS and AVL technologies. Supports user services such as Mayday, EMS, CVO, ATMS, ATIS, and AVCSS.
The act of bringing ITS technology into everyday use by travelers and transportation professionals.
An ITS program designed to link travelers in trouble with transportation officials in real-time. Uses location-referencing technologies and communications systems.
Model Deployment Initiative. A program designed to develop model sites demonstrating integrated intelligent transportation infrastructures and successful jurisdictional and organizational working relationships. The program is also designed to demonstrate the benefits of integrated transportation management systems that feature strong regional, multimodal traveler information services.
Metropolitan Planning Organization. Regional policy body, designated by local officials and the governor of the State, that is responsible in cooperation with the State and other transportation providers for carrying out the metropolitan transportation planning requirements of Federal highway and transit legislation.
National Automated Highway Systems Consortium.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is part of USDOT.
National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocol. Required for traffic management operations. Allows for wireline communications between traffic management centers and field equipment.
Operation Concept Development.
Operation Timesaver
Federal initiative aimed at reducing congestion by building an intelligent transportation infrastructure in 75 of the Nation's largest metropolitan areas within 10 years. The goal is to reduce travel times by 15 percent by the year 2005.
Professional Capacity Building program.
Priority Corridor
One of the first ITS programs established by ISTEA. Originally designed to showcase technology and hardware, it has created communication channels and organization frameworks among the numerous Agencies that must coordinate in order to successfully implement ITS.
"Envelopes" used to package data for interoperable flow of ITS information. Protocols can include information on addressing, security, priority, and other handling information.
Public-Private Partnerships
Agreements with private-sector companies to participate in the deployment of ITS through commitment of time, services, products, or capital investment. These partnerships are the foundation of the ITS strategic plan's financial strategy for ITS deployment.
Public Safety Answering Points.
Research and Development.
Radio Frequency.
Request for Proposals.
Research and Special Programs Administration, which is part of USDOT.
Real-Time Traffic-Adaptive Control System. Next-generation traffic signal control management system. An advanced dynamic control strategy that uses state-of-the-art traffic signal control based on real-time demand.
The Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System, which is a component of CVISN.
System for Assessing the Vehicle Motion Environment. A roadside measurement system to quantify the movement of vehicles in real traffic.
Standards Development Organization. Standard specifications that are established to address the need for various technologies, products, and components from different vendors to work together.
Traffic management center or transportation management center.
Traffic Management Data Dictionary. A source of standardized information that defines how data is exchanged and how it flows between ITS devices and systems. The TMDD standardizes message sets for national interoperability.
Transportation Management Systems.
Transportation Research Board. Part of the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council. Serves to stimulate, correlate, and make known the findings of transportation research.
Traffic Signal Control Systems. Advanced systems that adjust the amount of "green" time for each street and coordinate operation between signals to maximize traffic flow and minimize delay based on real-time changes in demand.
User Services
Services available to users of an ITS-equipped roadway, as set forth by ITS America. The 31 services are arranged in seven categories as follows:
  1. Travel and Transportation Management
  2. Travel Demand Management
  3. Public Transportation Operations
  4. Electronic Payment
  5. Commercial Vehicle Operations
  6. Emergency Management
  7. Advanced Vehicle Control and Safety Systems
Wide Area Network.
World Wide Web.