CVISN Statement of Direction, Last Modified: May 1998
The ITS/CVO element includes the ITS technologies which uniquely support Commercial
Vehicle Operations (CVO). The scope
of CVO includes the operations associated with moving goods and passengers via
commercial vehicles over the North American highway system and the activities
necessary to regulate these operations. It includes activities related to safety
assurance, commercial vehicle credentials and tax administration, roadside operations,
freight & fleet management, and vehicle operation.
| Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are transportation systems which
utilize information, communication, sensor, and control technologies to
achieve improved levels of performance. The US DOT has developed a National
ITS Program Plan for ITS which provides a new vision for surface transportation
in America. The ITS Program includes seven major elements:
- Travel & Transportation Management
- Travel Demand Management
- Public Transportation Management
- Electronic Payment
- Commercial Vehicle Operations (ITS/CVO)
- Emergency Management
- Advanced Vehicle Control & Safety Systems
|| The term Commercial Vehicle
Information Systems and Networks
(CVISN, pronounced "see-vision") refers to the ITS information
system elements which support CVO. CVISN iincludes information systems owned
and operated by governments, carriers, and other stakeholders. It excludes
the sensor and control elements of ITS/CVO.
The DOT is sponsoring the development of a National ITS Architecture
to provide a technical framework which describes how ITS elements fit
together into an overall system. The CVISN Architecture is the ITS/CVO
information systems portion of the National ITS Architecture.
The CVISN Architecture will be documented in 1996. This will be used to develop
standards and provide a technical framework for implementing the CVISN Pilot.
This is an initial deployment of selected CVISN elements in a limited number
(6-8) of states to demonstrate the operational feasibility and effectiveness
of CVISN prior to full scale national deployment. It includes systems in the
pilot states, carrier systems, and the CVISN Core Infrastructure. The CVISN
Core infrastructure is a selected group of key CVO information systems that
provide a mechanism for exchange of safety information, registration, fuel tax,
HAZMAT, and commercial driver license information among states.
The ITS/CVO Program is being organized to develop and deploy eight primary
capabilities. Some of these are undergoing operational test or are in use now.
Others will be developed over the next five years.
It is envisioned that in the year 2005, trucking operations will have become much more
efficient, largely due to the availability of accurate information in electronic form.
In 2005, carriers are able to equip their vehicles with a variety of productivity and
safety improvements: mobile communications systems, navigation and tracking systems,
on-board vehicle monitors, collision avoidance devices, crash restraints, and vision
Most trucks are equipped with ITS vehicle to roadside (VRC) communication transponders
which transmit messages to and receive messages from the roadside.
En-route delays at weigh stations have been virtually eliminated. Electronic screening is
used to check the vast majority of vehicles at mainline speeds. A clearance message
transmits vehicle, carrier, driver, and specially regulated load type identifiers to
roadside readers. The identifiers are used to access status information stored in
government information systems. Safety status, credential, tax, and permit are checked at
mainline speeds. Carriers which participate in clearance programs can operate trucks with
no paper credentials on-board.
Carriers which voluntarily adopt driver alertness management programs and equipment are exempted
from maintaining trip logs. Other carriers maintain trip logs electronically.
International border crossing clearances occur with little or no delay. Routine shipments are
cleared by use of EDI well in advance of the vehicle approaching the border, and more often than
not, the vehicle passes with less than a minute delay.
When inspections occur, they are conducted quickly with the aid of automated safety inspection
Electronic transactions support intermodal interchange among trucks, railroads, ships, and air
freight lines. All trailers and containers are equipped with a standard intermodal tag. This
tag can be read on highways, on rail lines, at truck and rail terminals, and at shipyards.
Carriers use fleet management systems to optimize schedules, routing, and maintenance. Accurate
highway and traffic data is available to support routing. Carriers can choose to track vehicles
throughout North America. Many carriers maintain databases of the location of each shipment.
Standards are available to support cross carrier queries and tracking, so a shipper can find the
location of their shipment via an electronic query. HAZMAT handling data required to respond to
HAZMAT incidents is available on-line to emergency personnel.
It is envisioned that in the year 2005, the vast majority of CVO business
transactions are being conducted electronically. This includes transactions
among carriers, shippers, government agencies, insurance companies, and other
In 2005, carriers apply and pay for credentials electronically, including
registration, HAZMAT permits, and oversize/overweight permits. They file and
pay fuel taxes electronically. Carriers deal with a base state for all business
transactions, including registration, permits, taxes, and clearance. The base
state handles any allocation of fees or taxes to other states, simplifying
carrier administration. Credentials are distributed electronically. No bingo
cards, stamps, decals, or paper permits are required for participating
Information from one process (e.g., registrations) is available to other
processes (e.g., fuel tax) in a timely manner. This avoids redundant data
entry, improves data accuracy, and provides data to support better decision
making. It permits cross checks such as denying registration to a carrier with
a poor safety history.
Some aspects of audits are conducted electronically with participating
carriers. State systems send queries to carrier systems. The responses are
compared to state records and often the audit is completed with little or no
States deal with carriers electronically, and states also deal with each other
electronically. They routinely interchange electronic information about
business transactions relating to safety, operating authority, registration,
tax, and clearance.
Shipping transactions are primarily electronic. Shippers place orders, track
freight movement, receive invoices, and make payments electronically.
State highway planning and enforcement operations are planned and managed based
on comprehensive, timely information. The information is gathered as a
by-product of the administrative processes and roadside processes. It is
anonymous; in other words, carrier and driver identifiers are removed and only
the overall statistics are used.
Data privacy and integrity are assured via encryption and password techniques.
In addition, the legal issues associated with the Privacy Act of 1974 are
The FHWA ITS/CVO Management Approach
The FHWA has established several related ITS/CVO Programs and Projects to carry
out the CVO portion of ITS and achieve the vision summarized above and
described in the National ITS Program Plan. The program management approach is
The FHWA ITS CVO Division is providing the focal point for Federal leadership
in the development of ITS/CVO systems.
The FHWA ITS JPO has set a high priority on the development and deployment of
CVO/ITS user services.
The ITS America CVO Technical Committee and its subcommittees are providing an
interactive stakeholder forum relating to ITS/CVO Program planning activities.
This Statement of Direction (SOD) is one of a series of documents that will be
used to fully inform CVO stakeholders of FHWA concepts and plans.
The FHWA is using the CVISN Architecture as a technical framework for the
development of interoperable information systems which support ITS/CVO
services. The FHWA is sponsoring studies & operational tests to validate
concepts and develop benefit/cost information.
The FHWA is conducting mainstreaming activities to expedite the widespread
deployment of ITS/CVO concepts and systems. These will include support for
state business planning, regional and national forums, and outreach.
The FHWA is sponsoring a CVISN Prototype Program to demonstrate the operational
feasibility and effectiveness of CVISN concepts and systems in two states,
Maryland and Virginia.
The FHWA is sponsoring a CVISN Pilot Program to demonstrate selected ITS/CVO
services in eight additional states from seven regions (a.k.a. “trucksheds”).
The pilot will run from 1996 through 1999. Pilot states were selected based on
their endorsement of CVISN objectives, institutional readiness, participation
in regional programs, technical experience, and intent to support inter-agency
The FHWA is providing funding and technical support to critical multi-state
data sharing projects (e.g., the IRP Clearinghouse) to connect to pilot project
states via standard interfaces. These projects are collectively referred to as
the CVISN Core Infrastructure.
The FHWA will provide the results of the CVISN Pilot to other states in the
form of a CVISN Deployment Tool Kit. This will include computer-based
management and technical documentation and planning tools to facilitate
deployment of CVISN in other states.
The FHWA will foster the national deployment of CVISN after the pilot to the
extent that funding allows.
It is anticipated that CVISN Pilot & deployment tasks will stimulate
process improvement & reengineering efforts in CVO that will provide
significant benefits beyond those obtained through automation alone.
The CVISN Program is proceeding in five major steps. The first step develops
the management (plans) and technical (architecture) frameworks necessary to
coordinate the subsequent phases. The second step is to prototype the
technology in an integrated way in 2 states to demonstrate operational concepts
and validate requirements. The third step is to pilot the approach in a limited
number (6-8) of states. This allows testing and evaluating in a project of
manageable size before proceeding to widespread deployment. The fourth step,
expansion, will expand from the pilot states to an equal number of partner
states. This should be a smooth expansion, since each partner state will be
coordinating with a pilot state in the same region throughout the pilot. The
final step allows for deployment to all interested states. By this time the
technology, concepts, costs, and benefits should be well understood and
documented. Deployment should be straightforward with little risk.
Throughout this process, FHWA is focusing on mainstreaming, which means the
organizational aspects of moving ITS/CVO services beyond the concept
development phase and into operation. As part of mainstreaming, certain
organizational strategies will be implemented to support the technical
activities. The ITS/CVO Program will develop policies, plans, programs, and
projects at the state, regional, and national levels: at the state level
because the states have the power and responsibility for building and
maintaining highways and for taxing and regulating the motor carriers that use
them; at the regional level because most trucks operate at the regional level;
and at the national level because of the need to ensure uniformity of services
for interregional and international motor carriers. Planned mainstreaming
State CVO Business Plans
Regional CVO Champions & Planning Forums.
National Clearinghouse Agreements
Benefit / Cost Studies
CVISN Guiding Principles
Statements of principle are being used to document fundamental
concepts and guidelines supported by the CVO community. These are
summarized here and listed below.
- A balanced approach involving ITS/CVO technology as well as institutional changes will be used to achieve measurable improvements in efficiency and effectiveness for carriers, drivers governments, and other CVO stakeholders. Specific technology and process choices will be largely market-driven.
- The CVISN architecture will enable electronic information exchange among authorized stakeholders via open standards.
- The architecture deployment will evolve incrementally, starting with legacy systems where practical and proceeding in manageable steps with heavy end-user involvement.
- Safety assurance activities will focus resources on high risks, and be structured so as to reduce the compliance costs of low-risk carriers and drivers.
- Information technology will support improved practices and procedures to enhance CVO credential and tax administration efficiency for carriers and government.
- Roadside operations will focus on eliminating unsafe and illegal operations by carriers, drivers, and vehicles without undue hindrance to productivity and efficiency of safe and legal carriers and drivers.
- To the extent possible, ITS/CVO technology development and deployment will be market-driven. The federal role in ITS deployment will be limited to instances in which a government role is indispensable and in which the technology is proven and reliable.
- Investment and participation in ITS/CVO technology will be voluntary.
- The relative benefits of various ITS/CVO technology applications and investments will be assessed quantitatively using measures of effectiveness and established methods of quality control.
- Potential ITS/CVO technology applications will be evaluated against regulatory choices involving low-technology and non-technological options to ensure applications are cost-effective for both government and industry.
- Government CVO policies and regulatory practices will permit safe and legal carriers and drivers to operate without unnecessary regulatory and administrative burdens.
- Stakeholders will use technology and institutional reform to implement continuous process improvement and cost-effective process re-engineering.
- The confidentiality of proprietary and other sensitive stakeholder information will be preserved.
- The United States CVO community will work to implement compatible policies and architecture and interoperable systems in all states.
- The United States CVO community will work with those in Canada, Mexico, and other nations to encourage compatible policies and architecture and to implement interoperable systems throughout North America and, when possible, worldwide.
Status of CVISN Guiding Principles
These principles were developed by the ITSA CVO Program Subcommittee. They will be updated as required to reflect the consensus of the CVO community. (2/25/97)
The CVISN architecture will be open, modular, and adaptable.
The architecture will enable data exchange among systems, a key to reaching CVO
objectives. Methods used to exchange data will ensure data integrity and
prevent unauthorized access.
Data exchange will be achieved primarily via common data definitions, message
formats, and communication protocols. These enable development of interoperable
systems by independent parties.
A jurisdiction shall have and maintain ownership of any data collected by any
agent on its behalf.
The architecture will accommodate existing and near-term communications
The architecture will accommodate proven technologies and legacy systems
The CVISN architecture will allow government and industry a broad range of
options, open to competitive markets, in CVO technologies.
The feasibility of the architecture will be demonstrated incrementally and
quickly in simulations, prototypes, operational tests, and pilots. There will
be heavy end-user involvement in each step of the process.
After feasibility has been demonstrated, key architectural elements will be
incorporated into appropriate national and international standards.
The architecture deployment will evolve incrementally, starting with legacy
systems where practical and proceeding in manageable steps.
Strong federal leadership will foster voluntary cooperative efforts within
government jurisdictions and among groups of other stakeholders to develop
systems which are in accord with the architecture.
Carriers and drivers
will be responsible for the safe and legal operation of commercial vehicles.
Jurisdictions will develop and implement uniform standards, practices,
procedures, and education programs to improve safety. These activities will
leverage market forces that encourage safety.
Jurisdictions will focus safety enforcement resources on high risk carriers and
drivers. They will remove chronic poor performers from operation and help
cooperative marginal performers to improve.
Jurisdictions will conduct inspections and audits to provide incentives for
carriers and drivers to improve poor performance and to collect information for
assessing carrier and driver performance.
Jurisdictions will use a safety risk rating for all carriers based on best
available information and common criteria.
Jurisdictions will identify high risk drivers based on best available
information and common criteria.
Safety programs will provide benefits which exceed costs for carriers and
drivers as well as governments.
Credential & Tax
Electronic information will be used in place of paper documents for the
administration of CVO credential and tax requirements.
Authorized users will be able to electronically exchange credential and
tax-related information and funds via open standards and transmission options.
The information needed to administer tax and credential programs involving
carriers, drivers, and vehicles will be available to authorized officials, on a
Individual jurisdictions, or their designated agent, will be the authoritative
source of information on credentials they issue.
Roadside operations will focus on eliminating unsafe and illegal operations by
carriers, drivers, and vehicles and will be designed and administered to
accomplish this in a manner that does not unduly hinder the productivity and
efficiency of safe and legal motor carriers and drivers.
Jurisdictions will support CVO roadside operations programs with timely,
current, accurate, and verifiable electronic information, making it unnecessary
for properly equipped vehicles to carry paper credentials.
The CVISN Prototype and Pilot Programs have been initiated by FHWA to move
ITS/CVO user services beyond the concept phase and into operation. They are a
cooperative effort of the FHWA, states, government and industry associations
(e.g., ITSA, AAMVA, IRP, IFTA), and carriers. The CVISN Prototype and Pilot
Programs provide funding to supplement funds currently being provided by other
federal, state, and private sources as required to enhance or modify existing
projects and legacy systems to meet the objectives of the CVISN Prototype and
Build the CVISN Core Infrastructure
There are several multi-state data sharing projects currently planned, under
development, or operational that are required to support the CVISN Prototype
and Pilot. These are collectively referred to as the CVISN Core Infrastructure.
The CVISN Prototype and Pilot will cooperate with these projects to expedite
Establish Two Prototype & Eight Pilot States
FHWA selected ten states to participate in the Prototype & Pilot Programs.
Each state committed to enhancing its information systems in order to implement
ITS/CVO user services over a 3 year period in a manner compatible with the
Involve Carriers in Prototype and Pilot States
Each Prototype and Pilot state will establish cooperative agreements with
representative carriers based in their state to participate in the program. The
carriers will participate in all phases, from planning through implementation
and operation. They must commit to enhancing their information systems to
implement ITS/CVO user services in a manner compliant with the CVISN
Establish Formal Standards
The Prototype and Pilot efforts are using draft EDI and DSRC standards in their
early stages. As the programs proceed, they will support standards development
organizations (SDO’s) to develop formal, open standards that incorporate
lessons learned. The states will incorporate the updated standards into the
final releases of their systems.
Demonstrate Three Critical ITS/CVO User Services
An important purpose of the Prototype and Pilot Programs is to demonstrate the
synergistic effects of providing multiple user services in an integrated way.
The programs are focusing on safety information distribution, credentials
administration (electronic credentialing and clearinghouses), and electronic
Prepare for Full Scale Deployment
The CVISN Pilot will help prepare for the full deployment of CVISN in four
ways. First, it will establish the CVISN Core Infrastructure as an operational
set of systems. Future states that wish to implement ITS/CVO services will be
able to connect to this infrastructure using documented and proven techniques.
Second, the pilot will support the definition of open DSRC and EDI standards.
Third, the pilot effort will produce a CVISN Deployment Tool Kit. This will be
a set of work products and lessons learned organized into a personal computer
based set of tools that can easily be distributed to and used by other states.
Fourth, it results in a number of vendor products that will be available for
purchase by other states.