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Developing Consistency in ITS Safety Solutions - Intersection Conflict Warning Systems (ICWS)
Phase 1

Intersection crashes continue to represent a significant share of transportation fatalities and serious injuries throughout the country. In addition to intersection lighting, signing and geometric improvements, organizations have turned to ITS as another tool for improving safety. Over the past several years, a variety of mainline and cross street oriented intersection conflict warning systems have been developed and tested in many states across the country. Some systems have been developed using local expertise, while others have been supported by the USDOT Cooperative Intersection Collision Avoidance Systems program. No specific guidance has been available for these systems in regard to placement, size, messaging, failsafe, etc. This has resulted in a fairly broad range of approaches and with the states’ growing experience there is now an opportunity to work together in moving toward standardization.

Bringing together organizations that have developed and deployed intersection conflict warning systems, the purpose of this project was to develop a consistent approach for accelerated, uniform deployment and further evaluation of intersection conflict warning systems (ICWS), and to recommend preliminary standards for MUTCD consideration. This work was initiated through a webinar and two in-person workshops. Participants included ENTERPRISE pooled fund states, other states that have deployed systems, FHWA, NCUTCD, AASHTO and NACE.


  • Increased awareness of systems deployed
  • Preliminary standards to support accelerated and more consistent deployment for experimentation
  • Evaluation framework for further experimentation
  • Roadmap to reach complete standards in the MUTCD


This ENTERPRISE project received an award for Best New Innovative Practice during the 2012 National Rural ITS Conference for its success in bringing together organizations that have deployed intersection conflict warning systems (ICWS) to capture current practice and develop preliminary design guidance for further standards consideration.

Scott Belcher, Bill Legg, Jon Jackels, Steve Albert


For additional information and presentations from the project webinars and workshops click here.

Related Documents/Links

For a listing of related documents and links to this intersection warning conflict systems (ICWS) ENTERPRISE project click here. For more information about the other phases of ENTERPRISE work with intersection conflict warning systems go to:

  • Phase 2 - ICWS Coordination and Systems Engineering: This project furthered supported the standardization of ICWS by coordinating among the various national standards and association groups, and by developing a concept of operations and system requirements for the four types of ICWS identified in the Design and Evaluation Guidance for Intersection Conflict Warning Systems developed in Phase 1. 
  • Phase 3 - ICWS Support and Outreach: This phase will continue coordination with national standards groups, industry associations and other pooled fund programs that have been engaged through the ENTERPRISE ICWS work. Phase 3 will also continue to provide ICWS deployment support to ENTERPRISE members.





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