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

Application Areas

Vehicle Sensors


This center-to-field application area covers the interface between a center and a specific type of roadway equipment that provides vehicle detection, traffic monitoring, and extraction of traffic flow data (volume, speed, occupancy, etc.). This interface supports the capability for the center to monitor traffic conditions, identify and verify incidents, detect faults in detector operations, and collect data for traffic strategy development and long range planning. All types of vehicle and traffic detector technologies are covered by this application area including inductive loops, microwave sensors, acoustic sensors, magnetic sensors, machine vision sensors, and video image detection systems.
This graphic shows the scope of the Center to Field Vehicle Sensors application area.  This scope is described in the preceding text.
National ITS Architecture Interface
This application area includes the interface between the Traffic Management Subsystem (TMS) and the vehicle sensors in the Roadway Subsystem (RS) and covers operational use of vehicle sensors. In this application area, raw or processed traffic detector information is collected and used to determine traffic measures such as volume, speed, and occupancy. Processed visual image data from the RS is also sent to the TMS to support incident detection and verification, including processed traffic sensor data that can be analyzed for the possible presence of incidents. A TMS remotely controls the vehicle sensors in the RS by sending information for initialization, configuration, and control to the RS. This exchange of information can include basic sensor control, as well as control commands for advanced sensors, such as video image detection systems. The sensor systems respond with the current operating status information (including fault information) when requested. Use of vehicle sensors for off-line traffic data collection is covered by the Data Collection/Monitoring application area.

Applicable Standards

In general, the following standards are applicable to Vehicle Sensors deployments. To determine which specific standards are applicable for a deployment you will need to determine which architecture flows will be needed for the Vehicle Sensors piece of your deployment. Contact your local FHWA ITS Division Specialist or an ITS Standards Program Field Support Team contact

Standard Development Status
ATC 5201 (ITE ATC Controller) Advanced Transportation Controller (ATC) ; Published
ATC 5301 Advanced Transportation Controller (ATC) Cabinet Version 02; Published
ITE ATC API Application Programming Interface (API) Standard for the Advanced Transportation Controller (ATC); Published
NTCIP 1102 Octet Encoding Rules (OER) Base Protocol; Published
NTCIP 1103 Transportation Management Protocols (TMP); Published
NTCIP 1201 Global Object Definitions; Published
NTCIP 1209 Data Element Definitions for Transportation Sensor Systems (TSS); Published
NTCIP 2101 Point to Multi-Point Protocol Using RS-232 Subnetwork Profile; Published
NTCIP 2102 Point to Multi-Point Protocol Using FSK Modem Subnetwork Profile; Published
NTCIP 2103 Point-to-Point Protocol Over RS-232 Subnetwork Profile; Published
NTCIP 2104 Ethernet Subnetwork Profile; Published
NTCIP 2201 Transportation Transport Profile; Published
NTCIP 2202 Internet (TCP/IP and UDP/IP) Transport Profile; Published
NTCIP 2301 Simple Transportation Management Framework (STMF) Application Profile; Published
NTCIP 2302 Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) Application Profile; Published
NTCIP 2303 File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Application Profile; Published
NTCIP 8003 Profile Framework; Published
NTCIP 9001 NTCIP Guide; Published
SAE J2266 Location Referencing Message Specification (LRMS); Published
Deployment Resources
Deployment resources can be found in the deployment resources section.