S Lockwood

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, land use - planning, organisation - management, technology - intelligent transport systems


Transportation policy, Transportation planning, Technology, Technological innovations, RTI, Road transport informatics, Plan implementation, Operations, Manpower utilization, Management, Long range planning, IVHS, ITS (Intelligent transportation systems), Intelligent vehicle highway systems, Intelligent transportation systems, Infrastructure, Development, Deployment, ATT, Advanced transport telematics, Advanced technology


The concept of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) was first conceived in terms of a vision: how new technology and systems could revolutionize transportation (Mobility 2000). The vision was then decomposed in terms of specific technologies (intelligent vehicle highway systems). It was subsequently structured in a set of systems concepts (ITS National Architecture). These concepts required an implementation program to support full deployment benefits (Operation TimeSaver). Only later was it apparent that changes in basic transportation policy were necessary to more fully realize the potential of ITS. Finally, it became clear that the policy itself required adjustment in institutions to have the desired strategic effect. The range of perspectives about the potential of ITS includes both aggressive long-range views of ITS-driven transportation systems (the visionaries) and conservative estimates of the short-range possibilities (the realists). This perspective suggests that, like the interstate systems that took 20 years to conceive and plan and 25 years to construct, ITS systems concepts and technology will follow a path of evolutionary development and elaboration. This transition is still in its early stages. The institutional preconditions that will support ITS and a strong operations and management framework remain to be developed. For both the visionaries and realists, there is a big job ahead.