Michigan ITS History

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 established the national Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems ( IVHS) program. Now known as the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), the program was designed to promote the use of advanced technologies in multi- modal transportation.

While the use of advanced technologies in transportation has been ongoing for many years, the creation of the ITS program has accelerated the pace of innovation and integration of technologies into the transportation system.

The program has brought new players into the transportation arena with interests in the application of technologies previously developed for defense, space and other fields.

In 1995, MDOT initiated the design and build of ITS infrastructure in southeast Michigan. Considered at the time to be the largest ITS deployment of its kind in the world, the project added instrumentation to more than 148 miles of freeways, bringing the total size of MDOT's ITS system in southeast Michigan to 180 miles.

The expanded system included 156 closed circuit television cameras, 59 changeable (also called dynamic) message signs, 61 ramp meters, 2,260 inductive loops and 11 highway advisory radios.

A state-of-the-art traffic management center in Detroit was added as well for operating the system and to house the Michigan State Police's 911 Regional Dispatch Center.

Besides Metro Detroit, West Michigan is served by several miles of ITS equipment on US-131 operated for MDOT by the city of Grand Rapids Police Department.