ROSSLYN, Va., May 22, 2006. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the start of National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Protocol (NTCIP). Since 1996, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) have been jointly developing the NTCIP to provide an open, vendor-neutral, and consensus-based family of standards that can be used by device manufacturers, systems developers, and agencies to better achieve their transportation-related objectives for interoperability.
"The development of the whole family of NTCIP standards has been a remarkable achievement leading to more than 50 standards," says William Russell, chairman of NEMA's transportation section and chief executive officer Eberle Design Inc. "Through partnership with other standard development organizations, along with the Federal Highway Administration, we were a major contributor to a process that was bigger than any one SDO. With our partners, AASHTO and ITE, the section members were brought together with the public and private sectors to develop a broad spectrum of standards that would meet the needs of all stakeholders. Our future efforts are greatly enhanced by the credibility and knowledge gained by this partnership process."
The NTCIP is a family of standards that provides both the rules for communicating (called protocols) and the vocabulary (the data dictionaries and message sets) necessary to allow electronic traffic control equipment from different manufacturers to operate together as a system. The NTCIP is the first set of standards for the transportation industry that allows traffic control systems to be built using a mix and match approach with equipment from different manufacturers. NTCIP standards thus reduce the need for reliance on specific equipment vendors and customized, one-of-a-kind software. Traffic control equipment includes the traffic signal controls at intersections, variable message signs along freeways, environmental monitoring stations near bridges, monitoring cameras along streets and freeways, and several other types of devices.
"The NTCIP has had a direct impact on the internal database structure, communications messages, organization of status information, hardware interfaces, as well as our central system products," says Peter Ragsdale, principal engineer, general manager new product development for Quixote Traffic Corporation. "Whenever new functionality or enhancements are being contemplated, we first look to NTCIP for guidance."
"The introduction of the NTCIP family of standards not only increased the interoperability of field devices, one of its primary goals, but it also prevented the duplicate work of continually recreating the same functionality in multiple communications protocols," says Russ Brookshire, vice president, DMS Engineering for U.S. Traffic Corporation.
"As a member of the NTCIP development effort, Daktronics is able to ensure that new standards meet the needs of our customers," says Brian S. Iwerks, product manager of Daktronics, Inc. "It gives us the opportunity to push the industry to new heights by influencing the direction of the standard."
"This is a significant accomplishment for NEMA," says NEMA President Evan Gaddis. "Our organization, along with ITE and AASHTO, will continue to provide the transportation industry with unsurpassed expertise for developing standards. By doing so, we make a contribution to public safety and order on our highways."
NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its 430 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and use of electricity. These products are used in utility, medical, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing, Sao Paulo, and Mexico City.
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