Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) is a new field in transportation that uses advanced technology and information to manage traffic on our transportation system. In the Commonwealth, ITS is known as Smart Travel Virginia.
Two major components of surface transportation are freeway management and arterial management.
Freeway Management System
- Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) for Surveillance
- Vehicle Detection Station (VDS) for measuring volume, speed, and lane occupancy.
- Variable Message Sign (VMS) for specific en-route traveler information. -- VMS Usage Policy
- Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) for broadcast en-route traveler information.
- Communications Subsystem (COMM) consists of fiber optics, leased phone lines, microwave, or wireless.
Servers and Software for logging incidents, generating response plans, and posting messages.
Arterial Management System
- Traffic Signal Controller for controlling intersection.
- Communications Subsystem (COMM) consists of fiber optics, leased phone lines, or wireless.
Servers and Software for getting vehicle data, uploading/downloading timing plans, and monitoring intersections.
All of the data and information is collected and disseminated at a central point or center. This center in Virginia is called the Smart Traffic Center (STC). Two STC's, located in Salem and Staunton, monitor traffic along the entire length of I-81 in Virginia.
In other states, the center is called a Traffic Management Center (TMC) or Traffic Operations Center (TOC). Operators monitor the system, verify incidents and respond to incidents. Most centers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week in conjunction with law enforcement. Some are operated strictly by transportation agencies and some are combined with other transportation or law enforcement agencies.