Road Network Operations
& Intelligent Transport Systems
A guide for practitioners!

Welcome to this PIARC (World Road Association) Guide

Most transport modes are experiencing rising congestion and this directly affects the economies of many nations. Relief for road congestion is an issue all over the world.

Road Network Operations (RNO) concern the methods at the disposal of road authorities and highway infrastructure operators that contribute to safer and more efficient travel for road users and for society as a whole. This includes techniques such as traffic incident detection, incident management, traffic control (urban and inter-urban), traveller information (pre-trip and on-trip), public transport priorities, electronic payment and travel demand management techniques.

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) concern a wide range of services that use information and communications technology that can improve transportation and mobility.

The range of ITS tools and services for road transport are explained here, together with the ways they can be deployed. There are also case studies of practical examples of ITS good practice from around the world.

ITS has become a core discipline in Road Network Operations, varying from country to country in levels of take-up and local applicability. This website offers guidance on the effective use of ITS in Road Network Operations based on practical experience in many countries.

Advice to users

This website is divided into nine themes. Each theme is made up of topics that describe the technical, institutional and practical issues covered. 

They are clustered into four groups as shown below:

This brown horizontal toolbar appears at the top of each page (below the banner). The four groups are shown again in the blue zone at the bottom of the page, with a list of the themes that belong to each group.

There are different ways for you to move from page to page. You can use the lists in the blue zone or there are drop-down menus on the brown toolbar.


On the Welcome page you can also click on one of the pictures in the slide-show – this takes you to the main page for that theme.


The Basics

Road Network Operations


Building Blocks


Emerging Economies

How the information is organised

The nine main themes are grouped under four main headings:

The Basics

  • Road Network Operations – The Basics
  • Intelligent Transport Systems – The Basics

Road Network Operations

  • Network Monitoring
  • Network Operations
  • Network Control
  • User Services

Building Blocks

  • Systems and Standards
  • Planning and Deployment

Emerging Economies

Each of the nine themes has a top-level page that outlines the scope of the information provided with options to drill down to detailed topics that are shown in a side menu and listed as "Other Pages" at the bottom of the page.

Side Menu

Click on any of the menu items on the left of the page – this will reveal the topics that are associated with the theme. For example:

Other Pages

You will see a clickable list of “Other Pages” above the blue zone – this repeats the side menu of topics for your convenience.

Case Studies, References and Multi-Media 

The website is illustrated with case studies, videos, reference sources and external links. These are shown in the display boxes that appear below the list of “Other Pages”.  There are blue clickable links to these resources in the text where they are relevant.


The drop down menu of “Tools” in the top menu provides access to two information pages. You can use the “Search” box alongside "Tools" to enter your search term – either a key word or a phrase in double quote marks.


In the footer of every page there are links to website support, the site map, credits and acknowledgements.


© World Road Association (PIARC).

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this website, the World Road Association cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.
Use of a term in this web site should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.
The identification of a specific public agency, research entity, or company in no way reflects an endorsement of their research, practices, products, or services.
Please notify the Association of any errors that require correction (mailing and email addresses below).

Language versions 

This version of the website is in English. It is also available in Spanish, and soon in French. You can switch from one language to another by links included in the header on each page. 

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