ITS Technology

The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) program of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), focuses on intelligent vehicles, intelligent infrastructure, and the creation of an intelligent transportation system through integration of these two components. The Federal ITS program supports the advancement of ITS through investments in major initiatives, exploratory studies, and a deployment support program to support safety, mobility, and productivity. ITS improves transportation safety and mobility, and enhances productivity through the use of advanced information and communications technologies. More detail regarding Federal ITS program initiatives can be found on the ITS website.

The IACP Law Enforcement-Intelligent Transportation Systems (LE-ITS) program is designed to foster research, planning, education, cooperation, and coordination between law enforcement and transportation officials to support technology initiatives that will enhance community and officer safety. The LE-ITS program supports research and outreach activities for technologies that support law enforcement and transportation communities.

Traffic Incident Management (TIM)
Traffic Incident Management (TIM) is a planned and coordinated process by multiple public disciplines and private sector partners to detect, respond to, and remove traffic incidents and restore traffic capacity as safely and quickly as possible. The IACP has established a Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Subcommittee of the IACP Highway Safety Committee (HSC). The TIM Subcommittee, working with HSC and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is operating to address safety, operations, training and outreach initiatives related to TIM nationally; promote TIM policies, procedures, and training in the public safety community while maximizing the overall effectiveness of TIM strategies and resources; enhance existing TIM programs while providing necessary resources to those jurisdictions new to TIM; and support relationships and understanding between TIM disciplines. More details and resources regarding TIM can be found on the IACP TIM Subcommittee website.

Next Generation 911 (NG9-1-1)
The Nation's current 9-1-1 system is designed around telephone technology and cannot handle the text, data, images and video that are increasingly common in personal communications and critical to future transportation safety and mobility advances. The Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) initiative will establish the foundation for public emergency communications services in an increasingly wireless and mobile society. NG9-1-1 will enable citizens to communicate with authorities in emergency situations using a variety of Internet-based devices by voice, text and video messaging. In addition, NG9-1-1 will be very helpful in mass emergencies by enabling Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) to transfer calls to other PSAPs, which enables more calls to be answered. The texting feature is especially beneficial as the emerging population begins to use more data-based communication devices. Text messaging is vital in situations in which a phone call cannot be made (e.g., domestic and hostage situations, and emergencies when cell phone signals are jammed). Text messages can often go through even when calls cannot be made. NG9-1-1 is also being used to send reverse 9-1-1 text messages to alert the public of natural disasters or other major public emergency.

Detailed information regarding NG9-1-1, including the Concept of Operations, System Description and Requirements, Transition Planning, Estimating Costs, Value and Risks, System Design, and Procurement Toolkit, can be found on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) web site.

FCC Chairman Genachowski Announces Five Step Action Plan to Improve the Deployment of Next Generation 9-1-1
DFCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced his Five Step Action Plan (PDF) to chart the transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 services at the 2011 APCO Conference in Philadelphia on August 10, 2011.

FCC Takes First Step to Help Revolutionize America's 9-1-1 Services for Consumers, First Responders

Washington, D.C. -- On December 21, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took an important step to revolutionize America's 9-1-1 services for consumers and first responders by adopting a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking public comment on how Next Generation 911 (NG911) can enable the public to obtain emergency assistance by means of advanced communications technologies beyond traditional voice-centric devices.

The FCC has undertaken this proceeding in response to a recommendation in the National Broadband Plan seeking to harness the life-saving potential of text messaging, email, video and photos from mobile and landline broadband services. Despite the fact that there are more than 270 million wireless consumers nationwide and that approximately 70 percent of all 9-1-1 calls are made from mobile handheld devices, today's 9-1-1 systems support voice-centric communications only and are not designed to transfer and receive text messaging, videos or photos. In some emergency situations -- especially in circumstances where a call could further jeopardize someone's life and safety -- texting may be the only way to reach out for help. In addition, many Americans, particularly those with disabilities, reply on text messaging as their primary means of communication.

For additional information about the NOI, please contact Patrick Donovan, Policy and Licensing Division, FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at 202-418-2413 or via e-mail: More information regarding the FCC's support of NG9-1-1 can be found on their website:

FCC Chairman Genachowski Announces Steps to Bring 9-1-1
Into the 21st Century
Texting, Video Streaming, Data Sharing to 9-1-1 Envisioned For ConsumersTraffic
Washington, D.C. -- At an event with public safety officials from Arlington County, Virginia on November 23, 2010, FCC Chairman Genachowski announced that the FCC will take steps to revolutionize America’s 9-1-1 system by harnessing the life-saving potential of text, photo, and video in emergencies. “9-1-1 is an indispensible, live-saving tool,” said FCC Chairman Genachowski. “But today’s 9-1-1 system doesn’t support the communication tools of tomorrow. Even though mobile phones are the device of choice for most 9-1-1 callers, and we primarily use our phones to text, right now, you can’t text 9-1-1. It’s time to bring 9-1-1 into the digital age.” Read the full remarks of Chairman Genachowski on the FCC website. (PDF)

A National Plan for Migrating to IP-Enabled 9-1-1 Systems
The National E9-1-1 Implementation Coordination Office (ICO), managed jointly by the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), developed A National Plan for Migrating to IP-Enabled 9-1-1 Systems, (PDF) which was published September 2009. As the Plan notes, the "primary goal for migrating to IP-enabled emergency networks is to allow the public to make a 9-1-1 'call' from any communication device in any mode (e.g., voice, text, or video) and potentially to furnish additional incident information (e.g., photo, crash data)."  The Plan provides navigation for implementation policy decisions by identifying and analyzing 9-1-1 system migration issues and potential options to resolve challenges. More information regarding the Plan can be found on the National 911 Program website.

NG9-1-1 Planning and Implementation
State and local jurisdictions across the nation are at varying stages of planning, testing, and/or implementing NG9-1-1. State and local plans for NG9-1-1 development and implementation appear below. Bookmark this site and return frequently to monitor the status of NG9-1-1 planning and implementation.

Black Hawk County 9-1-1 Texting
In 2009, Black Hawk County (Iowa) became one of the first jurisdictions to implement the ability for citizens to text 9-1-1. More information regarding Black Hawk County's success and experiences can be found the the following article and presentation:

California 9-1-1 Strategic Plan
The California 9-1-1 Advisory Board, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Public Safety Division recently released their California 9-1-1 Strategic Plan (August 2010). The plan establishes a clear purpose and direction through policies and tactical actions as California begins the development of a new 9-1-1 network. The plan expands all forms of communication, defines NG9-1-1 architecture, modernizes funding mechanisms, creates an open marketplace for NG9-1-1 solutions, and ensures the public is informed of all NG9-1-1 changes and uses.

Washington State NG9-1-1 Plan
The Washington State Next Generation 9-1-1 Plan (October 2009) (PDF) outlines technical and operational recommendations for the modernization of the state's existing 9-1-1 system. A subcommittee of the Enhanced 9-1-1 Advisory Committee developed the three-phased, six-year plan to ensure that NG9-1-1 will exceed current system capabilities addressing speed of delivery, reliability, and redundancy. In addition, NG9-1-1 will have the ability to receive voice and data from any device or service that can access 9-1-1 in the state. The plan addresses all aspects of the implementation of NG9-1-1, including temporary co-existence with the current 9-1-1 system and cost projections.