The key to a successful interoperable transportation system is to integrate ITS via a systems engineering approach into all stages of planning, designing and deployment of transportation projects at the state, regional and local settings. Systems engineering is a structured process for arriving at a final design of a system, both at the level of an ITS architecture and the level of project implementation. To demonstrate that the systems approach is consistently being taken, more than assertions may be needed. One way of demonstrating an ITS program based on a systems approach is to adopt a Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP) which describes the methodology and milestones in systems integration, and control system development and testing. SEMP also describes the processes to be used to integrate the software and hardware in the control system, and to integrate communications and field devices. It also identifies what systems will be integrated, and when and who is responsible for integration and testing. Both pre-existing and new systems would be described by the SEMP.
A systems engineering approach requires the project team to consider all phases of a system’s life-cycle from the moment of the system’s conception to its installation. This means taking into consideration the stages of planning, design, procurement, deployment, operations, maintenance, expansion, and retirement of the system or subsystems. This approach also requires the team to:
- Identify alternatives at each step of building the system.
- Evaluate each alternative based on costs, political and technical considerations, and customer needs.
- Consider what risks exist throughout the process and plan for their management.
As discussed, the use of a systems engineering approach to all stages of planning, designing, and deployment of transportation projects is the key to a successful interoperable transportation system. By adopting a Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP), the methodology and milestones in systems integration, and control system development and testing will be further demonstrated.
(Our website has many links to other organizations. While we offer these electronic linkages for your convenience in accessing transportation-related information, please be aware that when you exit our website, the privacy and accessibility policies stated on our website may not be the same as that on other websites.)