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NTCIP 1207 - Object Definitions for Ramp Meter Control (RMC) Units

This fact sheet was last updated 9/18/2009. The current published standard is 1207 v0117, published 2001. 1207 v0206b is a user comment draft; no recommended standard for Version 2 has been provided.

This Fact Sheet was written on September 18, 2009. The status of the standard at the time was: Published in November 2001.

This Fact Sheet was last verified on September 18, 2009

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


The National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Protocol (NTCIP) is a family of standards that provides both the rules for communicating (called protocols) and the vocabulary (called objects) necessary to allow electronic traffic control equipment from different manufacturers to operate with each other as a system. The NTCIP is the first set of standards for the transportation industry that allows transportation systems to be built using a "mix and match" approach with equipment from different manufacturers. Therefore, NTCIP standards reduce the need for reliance on specific equipment vendors and customized one-of-a-kind software. To assure both manufacturer and user community support, NTCIP is a joint product of the National Electronics Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). More information concerning the NTCIP family of standards and their related documents is available in the NTCIP 9001 - NTCIP Guide, available on-line at (

Human communication relies on a vocabulary of words, each defined with a fixed meaning and spelling that are understood by the members of the conversation group. Computers have a similar vocabulary, called "objects" in the NTCIP standards. These objects define all possible commands, responses and information that may be exchanged among microprocessor-controlled electronic equipment, traffic management systems (which could include central computers housed in a center or portable computers, e.g. laptops), and by extension, their human operators. The NTCIP groups these objects by subject material (e.g., ramp meter control units) and calls these groupings "object definitions." The objects defined in this standard allow a traffic management system operator to configure and control the ramp meter and also measure traffic parameters with the help of sensors placed on the main line and on the ramp.

What are these standards for?

NTCIP 1207, NTCIP - Object Definitions for Ramp Meter Control (RMC) Units, provides the vocabulary - commands, responses, and information - necessary for traffic management and operations personnel to configure and control ramp meter control units by which vehicle access to the freeway is controlled. Operation of the ramp meter control unit requires multiple objects such as configuration objects, control objects, scheduler objects and input/output objects.

This standard contains object definitions to support the functionality of ramp meter control used for transportation and traffic control applications. The standard includes conformance group requirements and conformance statements to support compliance with the standard. This standard also defines objects that allow an operator at a TMS to configure, control and monitor status of the ramp meter device and its associated metered lanes either independently or dependent on detectors placed on the ramp and on the main line.

If the sensors are not directly wired into the ramp meter control unit, the communication between the ramp meter control unit and the mainline or ramp sensors is standardized in NTCIP 1209, NTCIP - Data Element Definitions for Transportation Sensor Systems.

Who uses them?

NTCIP 1207, NTCIP - Object Definitions for Ramp Meter Control (RMC) Units should be used by transportation and traffic engineers involved with the design, specification, selection, procurement and installation, operation, and maintenance of ramp meter control units. ITS product hardware and software designers and application (computer program) developers should find this standard especially relevant to their efforts.

How are they used?

NTCIP 1207, NTCIP - Object Definitions for Ramp Meter Control (RMC) Units defines a vocabulary of "objects" used to assure that the transportation management center computer-system and field devices "speak" a common language. A message must be understood by the device it was intended for, and equally important, it must not be misunderstood or misinterpreted by another device on the same network. Object definitions unambiguously define the content, terminology, value, and format of commands, responses, and information affecting communications with ramp meter control devices.

This standard must be used with one of the NTCIP communications profiles (NTCIP 2001, 21xx, 22xx, 23xx, etc.) which provide the communications channel for information transfer between devices. It must be used with the NTCIP Global Object Definitions (NTCIP 1201), which provides the glossary of common object definitions used by multiple NTCIP traffic control devices.


Communication between a traffic management system and a ramp meter control device is accomplished by using the objects defined in this standard, NTCIP 1207, NTCIP - Object Definitions for Ramp Meter Control (RMC) Units. These objects define the information, commands and responses that must be understood between the TMS and the ramp meter control unit device for standardized communications.

Related documents

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

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

How to obtain Standards
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Institute of Transportation Engineers
Association of Electrical and Medical Imaging Equipment Manufacturers (NEMA), formerly known as National Electrical Manufacturers Association