Rural Transportation Logo

Capacity Building to Advance Intelligent Transportation Systems in Rural Regions and Communities

In This Article:

The NADO Research Foundation is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation ITS Joint Program Office in 2021 and 2022 to continue to research, provide technical assistance, and share the latest practices in rural and small community Intelligent Transportation Systems applications. Whether your interest is collision prevention, information sharing, safety, automated and connected vehicle technologies, or supporting workforce development for ITS implementation and operations, you will find resources with a focus on rural and regional ITS here at Look for additional resources and events in the coming months!

New! U.S. DOT ITS Deployment Resources

U.S. Department of Transportation Resources and Training Opportunities

ITS Professional Capacity Building Program
The Intelligent Transportation Systems Professional Capacity Building Program provides online resources, training modules, and webinars based on the latest research. ITS PCB is a way for transportation stakeholders informed about advances in ITS technologies and how they can be applied to solve real-world transportation challenges.

Photo of a group of men and women looking at a transportation planning map on a table.
Credit: / Toole Design Group

ITS Peer Program
The USDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems Office (ITS JPO) offers free, short-term technical assistance for agencies that have questions and challenges about planning for ITS, technology and infrastructure procurement, deployment, and operations. Agencies eligible for the peer program include but are not limited to rural and regional transportation planning organizations, MPOs, transit agencies, and state, county, and local transportation and public works professionals.

The types of ITS challenges that have been supported through the program are listed on the Peer Program website. Peer exchange types include:

  • Technical assistance by phone
  • Agency visit for face-to-face problem solving
  • Site visit or conference presentation on an ITS topic
  • Webinar on an ITS topic
  • Observation and learning from an agency peer

Peer Program guidelines provide additional information, expectations, and deliverables. Want to learn more about the USDOT ITS Joint Program Office Peer Program? Email  [email protected] or call 617-494-2883.

Recent Rural ITS Initiatives, Research, and Resources

NCHRP 23-10 (NCHRP Document 310) Evaluation and Synthesis of Connected Vehicle Communication Technologies (2021)
Completed in summer 2021, NCRHP Project 23-10 and Document 310 provide material and updates on the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) band (5.9 GHz), including actions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2019 – 2021 to reallocate portions of the band away from dedicated traffic and ITS uses. The NCHRP report provides information for state DOTs and transportation decisionmakers by synthesizing 5.9GHz proposals through May 2021.  

The NCHRP research includes:

  • A white paper on the history of 5.9 GHz band allocation
  • A presentation with high-level summary of 5.9 GHz reallocation implications for infrastructure owner operators and an overview of the regulatory and technical environments
  • June 2021 update and case study on the impacts of the FCC ruling
  • Topics identified for additional research:
    • Interference – Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) and C-V2X (cellular vehicle to everything) have not been subjected to significant at-scale testing in a single channel operational environment.
    • Future spectrum needs – There are industry concerns about MHz needed for a full-capacity V2X system and the 5 G reallocation could limit the scope of V2X applications.
    • Network security – Questions exist about implications for the agency network upon which communications data flows.
    • Testing and application development – FCC changes could result in changing expectations in terms of V2V (vehicle – to- vehicle) capabilities. Knowledge around reduced spectrum availability does not yet exist. 
    • Co-existence of DSRC or LTE C-V2X – Additional research is needed to determine whether the channels are capable of exchanging multiple messages in single-channel mode including side-by-side or with adjacent Wi-Fi in operation.  

Arizona I-17 Fiber Optics
Arizona Department of Transportation plans to bring broadband internet access to more Arizonans by laying fiber optic conduit along a 46-mile stretch of I-17 from Flagstaff to Sedona. ADOT begins the project in October 2021 and plans to use the fiber to provide “smart highway” technology, such as overhead message boards, traffic cameras, weather stations and wrong-way driving detection technology. The I-17 project adds to ADOT’s fiber optic mileage with conduit already in place in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, as well as a stretch of Interstate 10 near Eloy for the dust detection and warning system.

2019 – 2020 Building Capacity for ITS in Rural and Small Urban Areas Resources

Rural ITS Case Studies

December 9, 2020 ITS JPO T3 Webinar featuring Mo-Kan Regional Council and SEAT Transit

NADO Research Foundation ITS presentation (PDF)

To access PDFs, use a viewer such as Adobe Reader.

Additional Resources


Click the button below to receive NADO and Rural Transportation news and information directly to your inbox.