ITS Architectures

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) combine different information and communications technologies, such as cameras, Bluetooth detection, and advanced data analytics. These systems can help make the transportation system safer and more efficient, and they're a key part of Canada's road transportation system.

As new technologies develop, such as connected and automated vehicles, the uses of intelligent transportation systems will grow as well. For example, vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) features can alert drivers about upcoming hazards. These technologies could also be used to warn drivers about:

  • icy road conditions or a traffic accident
  • the vehicle in front brakes suddenly
  • a traffic light preparing to turn red

ITS architectures help transportation professionals plan, define, and integrate intelligent transportation systems into road transportation infrastructure and operations. An architecture gives planners and engineers a consistent way to develop and design systems using the same language.

The ITS Architecture for Canada was originally developed in 2000, by Transport Canada, and was based on the U.S. National ITS Architecture (now called the U.S. Architecture Reference for Cooperative and Intelligent Transportation or ARC-IT).

In early 2020 the ITS Architecture for Canada received a major update to Version 3.0, to align directly with the ARC-IT Version 8.3. The only differences that remained between the two architectures, is that the Canadian version includes 4 service packages:

  • CVO20 International Border Registration
  • CVO22 International Border Coordination
  • TM26 Signal Enforcement
  • WX04 Roadway Micro-Prediction

In late 2020, ARC-IT was updated to Version 9.0. As part of this update, the 4 unique Canadian service packages were integrated into the ARC-IT tools (RAD-IT and SET-IT).

Given the integration of Canadian elements into ARC-IT, stakeholders are encouraged to use ARC-IT and supporting tools for their ITS architecture needs. These are freely available at the ARC-IT website. The website also includes lots of additional information and resources:


Transport Canada will be developing supporting resources such as user guides, presentation, and training materials. These will be posted here as they are developed, along with useful resources.

Questions or comments?

If you have any questions or comments about ITS architectures, please email:

Third-party information liability disclaimer

Some of the information on this page has been provided by external sources. The Government of Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information supplied by external sources. Users wishing to rely upon this information should consult directly with the source of the information. Content provided by external sources is not subject to official languages, privacy and accessibility requirements.