The National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocol (NTCIP) standards define the words (referred to as objects) that convey information and rules (referred to as protocols) used to exchange information in an intelligent transportation system. Establishing a common set of words in device-specific data dictionaries benefits users through interoperability, compatibility, and interchangeability. This project addressed testing device conformance to NTCIP standards by examining how Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) specifications deal with NTCIP requirements and the current testing processes within the agency. The project also developed sample test procedures, looked at supporting documentation issues, and provided estimates for future development.
Some of the recommendations and conclusions of this research were:
- With minor modifications to current guidance and templates, a test procedure that checks conformance to NTCIP can check for compliance to specifications and be useful in other aspects of a testing program.
- Even though there are plans to add test procedures to some of the NTCIP standards, there are areas where an agency can facilitate its own testing program and make a contribution to the overall effort.
- Integrating Hardware-in-the-Loop (HITL) and testing software can provide traffic signal controller detector input capabilities not available through NTCIP. Additions to the HITL software interface could provide an independent means of verifying controller status.
- One issue to consider is how different people in different locations would perform NTCIP testing. For an agency wanting to use customized test procedures, this might entail purchasing an agency-wide license for the testing software.
Each technology has unique advantages and disadvantages, but all were shown to be applicable to freeway traffic management needs.
For More InformationRobert De Roche
Gibb Gilchrist Building, Room 158
TTI/Interoperability Test Lab
Texas A&M University System
College Station, TX 77843-3135
ph. (979) 845-6154 · fax (979) 845-9873