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Transportation Management Systems And Associated Control Devices

Transportation Management Systems and Associated Control Devices Section

The Transportation Management Systems and Associated Control Devices Section develops technical standards and guidelines for its products.


The scope of the Transportation Management Systems and Associated Control Devices Section (TMSACD) includes, but is not limited to products, subsystems, equipment, components, and services principally used to design, install, operate, and maintain vehicular transportation systems and related elements. The items included in the scope provide the means to realize integrated transport information management and control systems that are compatible with the intermodal operation of intelligent transportation systems.

Click here for detailed product scope information.

Technical Activities

The Section members support four active technical committees of NEMA-member-only participants, and also participate in the NTCIP and ATC Joint Committees and their working groups. The four technical committees write and maintain the TS 2 signal controller standard, the TS 4 DMS hardware standard, the TS 5 portable traffic signal standard specification, and the new parking systems standard specification.

For more information, browse to www.ntcip.org.

How is NEMA TS 2 related to the ATC?

The NEMA TS 2 standard and the Advanced Transportation Controller (ATC) standard are not mutually exclusive nor contradictory. A controller can meet both standards, as is the case for the ATC controllers that have been on the market in 2011. While it is true that the 1990's era traffic controllers are becoming obsolete, this is mostly because of manufacturability, repair ability, supply shortages of the older parts, and just the expected life-cycle for any electronic device. [But just because the NEMA TS 2 dates from 1992 does] not mean that TS 2 is going away, nor the functionality it defines. These older controllers are being replaced with controller that not only meet TS 2, but other standards like the ATC and NTCIP as well.

The ATC 5201 (v5.2b) standard focuses on interoperability of: certain hardware components like the main processor board; the operating system; and interoperability of different vendor's software. The ATC 5201 does not limit what cabinet interfaces you hook it up to, which is a lot of what the NEMA and Caltrans standards define. ATC controllers will run NEMA style cabinets, Caltrans style cabinets, ITS cabinets, and proprietary cabinets, depending on the needs of customers and the hardware/software interfaces developed.

So, you'll find that the trend in traffic controllers are to adopt the ATC standard (for its added benefits) along with the NTCIP standards (for their benefits), while retaining their NEMA capabilities. NEMA traffic standards are here to stay for the foreseeable future. To ensure this multi-standard approach, the NEMA member companies are major contributors to both the ATC standards and the NTCIP.

Government Affairs

Through NEMA, the section develops industry positions on legislative and regulatory initiatives that may affect member products, markets, and customers. NEMA's work has resulted in contributions to public policy development and in promoting competitiveness, technological progress, and public safety. On the Government Affairs homepage members can search for and e-mail federal representatives to convey opinions regarding energy policy or other issues related to the electroindustry.

NEMA Government Affairs provides specific services to its members and information in the areas of Environment, Health & Safety; Energy; and International Trade & Commerce.


Membership in NEMA is open to any firm actively engaged in the manufacture in North America of a product within the NEMA scope and for sale in the open market. Membership of foreign firms is subject to product section policies and NEMA Board of Governors approval.

NEMA operates on a fee-for-service basis. Each product section establishes its projects and activities and approves an annual operating budget. A fee is then established using an annual average of net domestic sales of products within the NEMA scope. Visit Joining NEMA for more information on membership.


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