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Internet of Things in Transportation: Getting Started

What's in This Guide

Getting Started

Introduction to the internet of things technologies.

► Definitions

Key terms in the industry.


Impacts and capabilities of current technologies.


Current research and future plans for vehicle technologies.

 Transit, Freight and Airports

Best practices and recommendations for ongoing research.

Other Applications

Asset management, construction, traffic management and other transportation applications.

About the Pooled Fund

Transportation Research and Connectivity logo

The Transportation Research and Connectivity pooled fund study, TPF-5(442), is a consortium of state DOTs and other partners that supports the coordinated development of transportation libraries as well as research organizations without dedicated libraries. Study focus areas include communication and networking, digitization, research report accessibility, and developing online resource guides and a toolkit for non-librarians.

The internet of things (IoT) is a network of physical objects (devices, vehicles, machines and other objects) embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data (Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, U.S. Department of Transportation). It is described as extending connectivity beyond conventional computing platforms such as mobile devices and computers into any range of noninternet-enabled physical devices and everyday objects (Federal Highway Administration).

Applications in transportation are wide and varied—including smart cars, rail and mass transit, commercial transportation, roadway safety, asset management, and transportation systems management and logistics. This guide provides an overview of this broad topic, with research and resources from the public and private sectors. Impacts of the internet of things are discussed along with related issues such as safety and security

Selected Resources

Enhancing Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) with Advanced and Emerging Technologies and Data Sources report coverEnhancing Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) With Advanced and Emerging Technologies and Data Sources, Federal Highway Administration, March 2020.

Emerging technologies and data sources are discussed along with Active Transportation and Demand Management applications, design and deployment elements and methods, implementation challenges and case studies that demonstrate solutions.

Integrating Emerging Data Sources into Operational Practice: State of the Practice Review report coverIntegrating Emerging Data Sources Into Operational Practice: State of the Practice Review, Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, U.S. Department of Transportation, December 2016.

Successful big data tools and technologies that aggregate, store and analyze new forms of transportation-related data are presented that may be useful to agencies responsible for transportation systems management and operations.

Authors and Contributors

This Resource Guide was prepared by CTC & Associates LLC for the Transportation Research and Connectivity pooled fund study, TPF-5(442), under the guidance of the following members of the study's technical advisory committee:

This guide is a living document that is intended to be revised and updated to incorporate new resources. To suggest a resource for inclusion, please contact one of the committee members listed above.

Publication date: August 2022.

Quick Reads

Role and Applications of IoT in Transportation, TechVidVan, undated.

Applications addressed include roads, transport management system, transportation monitoring system, asset management and remote area surveillance, operational performance and inventory management system, safety, smart cars, rail and mass transit, and commercial transportation.

7 IoT Use Cases in Transportation and Logistics, BoostHigh, 2019.

Potential applications in  fleet management, inventory and warehouse management, supply chain management, predictive maintenance and alternative distribution methods are presented.

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