• ITS Benefits Database entries are short summaries of ITS evaluations and their findings with regard to the effect of ITS on transportation operations. The database organizes these findings into six goals of ITS deployment identified by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT): safety, mobility, efficiency, productivity, energy and environmental impacts, and customer satisfaction.

    A typical entry includes three elements:

    • Project / System Background
    • Evaluation Methodology
    • Findings

    Each entry begins with a brief description of the studied ITS application and other project context relevant to understanding the system's effect on transportation operations. The summaries then describe the evaluation methodology used in the study (e.g., survey strategies, data collection periods, and simulation techniques used). Finally, each entry recounts the findings of the evaluation (e.g., gallons of fuel saved, hours of delay eliminated, or reduction in the percentage of crashes).

  • ITS Benefits Database entries are drawn primarily from written sources such as ITS evaluation studies, research syntheses, journal articles and conference papers that are all publicly available. The USDOT National Transportation Library, state and local agency reports, Transportation Research Board’s Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS), and conference proceedings are major sources for the documents reviewed for collection of benefits information. Correspondence with evaluators or additional web-based project content occasionally supplements information provided in these written documents. Each database entry provides links to relevant source documentation available online.

  • ITS benefits are presented in a number of classification schemes capturing various topics of interest of transportation professionals.

    Each database entry is categorized to the ITS Taxonomy based on the type of ITS evaluated. This organization scheme provides insight to the project managers, planners, and designers considering deployment of or assuming responsibility for a particular ITS application. This will allow, for example, a manager or planner seeking to improve transit system operations to search for example outcomes for the variety of ITS improvements intended to improve transit management (e.g., automatic vehicle location, transit signal priority, electronic fare payment).

    Each benefit entry is also categorized by the ITS goal areas affected by the system. Browsing by goal area is helpful to executives, researchers, and planners, interested in learning more about successful approaches to maximizing benefits in key ITS goal areas ranging from safety to customer satisfaction. This categorization enables refined searching for experiences with ITS that, for example, improve safety through freeway management applications.

    Database entries are also organized by the geographic location when available. Entries are categorized by the country or U.S. state where the subject ITS technology was deployed or analyzed.

  • The database contains over 1,500 unique benefit entries.

  • New entries are added continuously as new source documents are reviewed and summarized.

  • Users can see the most recent Benefit database entries by using the “Latest Updates” link under the Benefits menu.

  • No. Experience shows that ITS deployments, in general, are overwhelmingly beneficial to transportation operations. While this database presents such benefits, it also documents adverse impacts of ITS, when experienced.

    A handful of ITS Benefits Database entries discuss cases where ITS had a neutral or even negative effect on the transportation network. For example, one entry describes that safety risk for individual vehicles can increase when traveler information guidance directs them to alternate routes with higher crash rates (e.g. arterial routes to avoid congested freeways). In that example, network wide safety improved through overall reductions in traffic congestion and smoother traffic flow. Another entry documents an increase in toll plaza crashes due to driver confusion following the deployment of electronic toll collection, emphasizing the need for appropriate signage and guidance to drivers.