Regional ITS Architecture and Deployment Plan

Study Overview

Development of a regional intelligent transportation system (ITS) architecture and deployment plan is an important step in the planning and implementation of ITS in a region. The ITS architecture and deployment plan allows stakeholders to plan for what they want their system to look like in the long term and then break the system into smaller pieces that can be implemented over time as funding permits. Development of an ITS architecture and deployment plan encourages interoperability and resource sharing among agencies and allows for cohesive long-range planning among regional stakeholders. In the Nashville Area, the first regional ITS architecture was developed in 2003. Since that time a number of new ITS projects have been implemented and the National ITS Architecture, which serves as the basis for the Nashville Area Regional ITS Architecture, has been updated. In order to reflect these changes the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), in coordination with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), began an update of the Regional ITS Architecture in 2009.

The Nashville area has undertaken several deployments of ITS programs throughout the region. These programs have come from multiple agencies and cover multiple transportation modes. The 2010 plan established region-wide standards for the use of technology to improve traffic operations and communications related to traveler information, incident response and management, and public safety and security.

In 2016, the MPO will seek consultant assistance to evaluate current intelligent transportation systems across the region to develop recommendations for how to upgrade traffic signals, parking management, transit customer information, and real-time construction information, and to prepare for emerging technologies such as connected vehicles and integrated communications systems.

Major Findings

The Nashville Area Regional ITS Architecture was developed using a consensus approach with input from stakeholder agencies throughout the Region. Three key steps were used to develop the plan:

Step 1 — Identify needs and ITS Inventory Stakeholder needs as well as existing and planned ITS elements were identified. Elements were categorized as centers, vehicles, travelers, or field devices as shown in the diagram below. Step 2 — Develop ITS Market Packages (Services) ITS market packages represent the services that ITS can provide to address one or more needs in the Region. In the Nashville Area a total of 40 market packages were identified and prioritized as high, medium, or low. Market packages not only identify services, but also show how those services will be operated and the data flows that will occur between agencies.
Step 3 — Identify Sequence of ITS Projects to Deploy in the Region The ITS Deployment Plan identifies the projects that stakeholders recommended for deployment in order to implement the ITS services identified in the market packages.


A list of recommended ITS projects for the Nashville Area was developed through input from stakeholders during the ITS architecture development process.  A complete listing of all the projects identified is found in the Regional ITS Deployment Plan.

Municipal/County Projects
• Traffic Operation Center (TOC) Implementation
• Traffic Signal System Implementation and Optimization
• Closed Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) Implementation
• Dynamic Message Sign (DMS) Implementation
• Road Weather Information System Implementation
• Railroad Grade Crossing Advanced Notification System
• Arterial Street Service Patrol Implementation
• Real-Time Traveler Information Website
• Emergency Vehicle Traffic Signal Preemption

Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Projects
• Nashville Area MPO Archive Data Warehouse

Tennessee Department of Transportation Recommended Projects
• SmartWay Freeway Management System Extension
• SmartWay Ramp Metering
• HELP Service Patrol Expansion
• SmartWay Traffic Management Center (TMC) Coordination  

Transit Projects
• Transit Vehicle Tracking
• On-Board Security Cameras and Alarm Systems
• Transit Vehicle Passenger Counters
• Next-bus Arrival DMS
• Real-time Traveler Information Websites
• Interactive Voice Response Systems for Reservations
• Transit Dispatch Coordination with Municipal TOCs
• Transit Signal Priority





  • Regional ITS Architecture and Deployment Plan

Completion Date

  • 2010, 2016-2017 Update


  • Kimley-Horne Associates

Study Partners

  • Nashville Area MPO
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