Transportation Technology Tournament


The National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) and the U.S. DOT ITS JPO PCB program are hosting a competition for students to work directly with state and local DOTs to solve real-world transportation problems utilizing ITS and TSMO solutions.

Student teams assembled to work with a local or state agency to define a problem or challenge in their region. After submitting an initial contest application identify the team and the problem or challenge, students will work with academic advisors to learn about potential ITS and TSMO solutions via online training programs outlined below. Teams will then utilize their experience, education, and new coursework to develop a solution or suite of solutions to directly address the originally defined problem. Students will submit their solutions via a proposal. Finalist teams will develop a presentation and then will be flown to the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) 2018 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis to give a live presentation in front of a panel of judges made up of leaders in the ITS and TSMO community.

Participating Teams

*Teams in bold are our four finalists who will compete at ITE 2018 during a live event in front of judges.

College/University Problem Statement Particpating Agency
Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo Pedestrian Safety City of Detroit and Michigan DOT
University of Texas Using Third-Party Navigation Applications to Improve Transportation Operations Planning for Special Events District DOT
University of South Florida Pedestrian Safety Along Arterials Florida DOT
North Dakota State University Enhancing Traffic Operation and Safety by Providing Train Information Near Highway Rail Grade Crossings City of Moorhead, Minnesota
Texas A&M University, Team #1 Using Third-Party Navigation Applications to Improve Transportation Operations Planning for Special Events District DOT
Texas A&M University, Team #2 Reversible and Restricted Lane Operations on Arterial Streets District DOT
Florida International University Pedestrian Safety in South Florida City of Gainesville
Oregon State University Pedestrian Safety in Portland City of Portland
University of Nevada - Reno Updating Safety Service Patrol Routes Using Historical Data to Optimize Response Times District DOT

Timeline and Instructions (Click headline to open)

February 15, 2018: Submit Application

Teams submitted an initial application, which included:

  • List of team members, including age and degree being pursued.
  • For each team member: One-page resume (like a private consulting firm would do when they submit a bid for a project – to show they have qualified staff) and headshot photo.
  • Formal selection of the problem. (Note: teams can submit a problem statement from their own state DOT or other public agency, and receive input and/or approval by the competition organizers.)
  • Signed waivers that allow the USDOT, NOCoE, and ITS America to use/reuse/publish photos, images, presentations, etc. in printed materials and on websites.
  • A statement of team dynamics and methodologies: how frequently they intend to meet, how they intend to take trainings, what the roles & responsibilities of each team member are, etc.

February 27, 2018: Kick-off Webinar Informational Session

The Kick-off Webinar on February 27, 2018, 2-3 pm Eastern. You can view the entirity of the webinar here.

March 31, 2018: Interim Check-In #1: Training, Part 1

Teams submit a packet, demonstrating their completion of the following ITS PCB courses (submission - course certificates):

April 30, 2018: Interim Check-In #2: Training, Part 2

Academic or industry advisors are also responsible for teaching students Con-Ops and ITS Civil Engineering Design. Advisors will lead the team through the following ITS Case Study Courses, found on the ITS JPO Professional Capacity Building Program:

  • ITS Case Study Course: Con-Ops (submission – course deliverable)

  • ITS Case Study Course: Civil Engineering Design (submission – course deliverable)

Teams submit a packet, demonstrating their completion of the above ITS Case Study Courses.

May 31, 2018: Interim Check-In #3: Solution Definition and High-Level Con-Op

Teams submit a 10-page packet describing their solution. Packet will be a template, created by the competition organizers. Packet will include:

  • Description of problem
    • Scoping the dynamics of the site and the problem, identifying requirements for solution, identifying stakeholders, etc.
  • Description of solution
    • How this could address the problem
    • Who the players are within that solution
  • Con-ops for solution, including:
    • High-level functional architecture
    • High-level physical architecture
    • High-level enterprise architecture
  • An estimate for the work needed to develop and implement the solution including:
    • Cost breakdown
    • Timeline
  • Anticipated impacts
    • Operational benefits
    • Safety benefits
    • Mobility benefits
    • Environmental benefits
    • Other benefits and risks

Judges panel will review the submissions and select finalists to go to ITE 2018 to present in person. Feedback will be given to finalists in order to stregthen their pitch at the final event.

June 28: Interim Check-In #4: Finalist Presentations

The four finalists presented a six-minute pitch on their solutions and received feedback from judges. A full recording of the event is available here.

August 2018: Live Competition at ITE Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN

Finalist teams will be provided travel funds to attend the Live Competition at the ITE Annual Meeting. Students will present to judges and a live audience (ten minutes per team to include four minutes for a question and answer period. Presentations will be recorded. Judges will deliberate and hold an “Awards Ceremony” where the finalists will be recognized.


Please feel free to contact Adam Hopps via email or phone (202-680-0091) with any questions.