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 public agencies to solve real-world transportation problems utilizing ITS and TSMO solutions.

Student teams will assemble to work with a State or local DOT, MPO, or transit agency to define a transportation problem. After submitting an initial contest application identifying the team and the problem, 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 participate in a live event at ITE 2020 in New Orleans, LA. For those teams selected to the final event, travel, lodging, and registration fees for three team members. At ITE, teams will give a presentation in front of a panel of judges made up of leaders in the ITS and TSMO community. One team will then be selected as the 2020 Transportation Technology Tournament Winner.

The 2018 and 2019 tournaments featured extremely competitive teams with innovative solutions. More information on previous years is available via the menu on your left.

Team Composition

Teams are 4 members minimum, 6 members maximum, with at least 1 non-civil engineer (ex. planner, electrical engineer, computer science engineer, statistician, etc.) and at least 2 team members younger than 26 years old.  Teams must have an academic sponsor/advisor, and a state or local DOT member and/or engineer at a private engineering consultancy to advise the team.

Challenge Problems

Teams have two choices in identifying a challenge problem:

  • Work with their state, regional or local agency to identify a transportation problem requiring a TSMO solution
  • Select from a list of challenge problems provided by specific agencies for this tournament.

Current Challenge Problem Options

Capital Region Planning Commission:
1. Intelligent Freight Technologies to Improve Freight Movement and Reduce Public Impacts: The Capital Region Planning Commission is looking for solutions to improve the movement of freight. In Louisiana, the interstate system (I-10, I-110 and I-12) and major arterials (US 61, LA 1, and US 190) are the primary routes used by freight trucks to access the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. Other modes include water/river and rail access. Currently there is only one Class I railroad servicing the port and this poses a challenge in moving freight. The roadway routes experience rush hour congestion and that affects delivery time of trucks to the port. Smooth traffic flow on the freight routes can reduce emissions and noise from trucks and improve the environment and quality of life for residents. Intelligent freight technologies would enhance the efficiency and productivity of operators and enforcement agencies and this can significantly improve the safety benefits to the public. Goods and services can also be delivered at a lower cost to consumers.


2. I-26 Corridor Management, Johnson City to Kingsport

3. Nashville mobility challenge, first and last mile solutions in one of the nation’s fastest growing cities

4. High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Violations in Nashville & Memphis. In 2018 a report conducted by Vanderbilt and TSU showed an average HOV violation rate of 88% in Tennessee.

5. Nashville Downtown Interloop Traffic Operation Improvements. The Nashville Interloop experiences a high level of congestion due to weaving traffic.

6. Rural ITS Solutions for I-40 at Rockwood Mountain and I-75 at Jellico Mountain. This areas experiences high crash rates due to weather and grade conditions. This area also experiences rockslides.

7. Truck Parking Shortages in Tennessee

8. Work Zone Traffic Control Improvements on Highway Bridgework Projects – Off-tracking issues in lane shifts with limited pavement widths.

Each challenge problem has a limit of 2 teams. We will designate when challenge problems are no longer available.

We will continue to work with state and local agencies to identify specific challenge problems available for teams to choose. New challenge problems may be added up until the February 14 deadline, therefore teams may choose/change their problem up until the end of February.

Check back as we update this page with those challenge problems.

Initial Application

Teams must submit their applications to participate in the TTT via the online form on NOCoE’s website.

 The initial application must include:

  • 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.

Applications to join the tournament must be submitted via the online form no later than Friday, February 14 at 11:59 ET.

2020 Timeline

Below is an outline of the steps and process of the 2020 Transportation Technology Tournament

Friday February 14, 2020: Deadline for TTT Applications

Submit your team information via the online form to join the Transportation Technology Tournament.

Friday, February 21, 2020 at 2pm ET: Kick-off Webinar Informational Session

The Kick-off Webinar will take place on February 21, 2020 at 2pm ET. At least one member from each team needs to attend this webinar live. A recording will be available for sharing with the rest of the participants. The webinar will cover guidance for the overall tournament, submission processes for each check-in and deadline, and overall advice on how to win the tournament. Webinar information will be posted here and sent to all teams ahead of time.

Friday, March 13, 2020: Interim Check-In #1: Training, Part 1

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

The packet will include proof of completion for each course from each team member. Submission instructions will be provided during the kick-off webinar.

Friday, April 3, 2020: Interim Check-In #2: Training, Part 2

Academic or industry advisors were also responsible for teaching students Con-Ops and ITS Civil Engineering Design. Advisors led 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 will submit a packet demonstrating their completion of the above ITS Case Study Courses.

Friday, May 15, 2020: Solution Definition and High-Level Con-Op

Teams will submit a 10-page packet describing their solution. The 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 2020 to present in person.

End of June 2020: Finalist Presentation Practice Runs

Finalists will be asked to give at least two practice presentations ahead of the live competition and receive feedback from the organizing committee.

August 2020: Live Competition at ITE Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA

Finalist teams will attend the Live Competition at the ITE Annual Meeting. Students will have 10 minutes to present to a panel of judges and a live audience and face a question and answer session from the judges.


If you have any questions, please contact Adam Hopps with the National Operations Center of Excellence.