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SAE J2354 - Message Set for Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS)

This Fact Sheet was written on April 14, 2006. The status of the standard at the time was: Published in February 2004.

This Fact Sheet was last verified on October 07, 2009

 Check the ITS Standards Search to see if there has been subsequent development activity.


Clearly defined message sets are essential components in the design and operation of modern, computer-based ITS systems. Specifically, a message set provides a series, or set, of individual messages, established in a strict format, for exchanging information on a given topic. An agreed-upon message set with unambiguous definitions is one of the essential standards required to exchange messages between ITS systems.

Message sets work in conjunction with at least two other sets of standards to provide an effective data exchange. The first required set of standards include data dictionaries that provide the definition and syntax of individual data elements (DEs) that make up the specific message content of a message. In a simple analogy, message sets are the sentences where DEs are the individual words. The second set of standards needed for data exchange provides the actual communications protocols, and describes how messages are encoded for transmission, transmitted and then decoded by the receiver.

This standard, SAE J2354, Message Set for Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS), provides the messages and data elements that are exchanged among traveler information providers (data providers) and travelers (data consumers). The most recent revisions to the standard, documented in Version 2, includes the integrated use of the International Traveler Information System (ITIS) phrase lists for communicating event information, addition of XML-based versions of each entry, and reuse of data elements from other functional area data dictionaries (e.g., Traffic Management Data Dictionary).

What are these standards for?

This standard defines messages for advanced traveler information systems (ATIS) for general use independent of medium of transmission or bandwidth availabilities. The messages themselves consist of data elements (DEs), formerly defined in the companion standard SAE J2353, but now incorporated into this version of SAE J2354.

This standard, SAE J2354, Message Set for Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS), provides two basic types of ATIS, based on whether or not the traveler (data consumer) interacts with the traveler information provider (data provider). One-way communication of traveler information includes predefined information broadcast to travelers, such as radio and TV broadcasts and some web pages. Two-way, transactional traveler information includes all means whereby the traveler makes specific, personalized requests and receives customized information.

The messages defined in this standard are divided into seven major groupings of ATIS applications; message sequencing for each type of message (dialogs) is also included:

  • Traveler Information - traffic, incidents, events, weather, environmental conditions, public transit schedules
  • Trip Guidance - route plan to a specific destination, including the mode of transportation, points of interest, etc.
  • Directory Services - electronic "Yellow Pages", possibly location-based
  • Parking - parking lot and space availability
  • Settings - traveler’s personal preferences for format and content of traveler information
  • Mayday - emergency information, including requests for assistance and vehicle information
  • Reduced Bandwidth - streamlined version of certain data elements to accommodate bandwidth restricted media

Further guidelines concerning the use of Mayday messages and Reduced Bandwidth messages may be found in SAE J2313 and SAE J2369, respectively (see related documents below).

Who uses them?

This standard, SAE J2354, Message Set for Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS), is intended for use by ATIS message creators and application developers, both public- and private-sector. Anyone desiring to create ATIS messages that can be used by end-user ITS applications would follow the formats outlined in this standard to ensure interoperability.

How are they used?

This standard, SAE J2354, Message Set for Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS), is used to specify the precise format, data element order, and transactional order of traveler information messages passing between traveler information providers (data providers) and end-user applications (data consumers or travelers). The format of these messages (often reconstructed after some form of transmission) is similar to that used by end users in creating consumer applications.


This standard, SAE J2354, Message Set for Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS), is intended to provide a reference for ATIS messages used without any media or bandwidth restrictions. Such restrictions are defined in other SAE standards (e.g., SAE J2369, Standards for ATIS Message Sets Delivered over Reduced Bandwidth Media). The messages contained within this standard address all stages of travel (informational, pre-trip, and en route), all types of travelers (drivers, passengers, personal devices, computers, other servers), all categories of information, and all platforms for delivery of information (in-vehicle, portable devices, kiosks, etc.).

Related documents

The following ITS standards are related and should be considered when using this standard:

The following document, while not part of the ITS standards, should also be considered when using this standard:

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