Creating a better NTCIP Specification with the PRL
Posted on 03.06.15

The National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation System Protocol (NTCIP) is a U.S. standard that streamlines communication between central systems and devices. NTCIP-conforming devices have now been installed throughout the world because abiding by the requirements of NTCIP ensures interoperable and interchangeable communication.

When it comes to creating RFP’s, bids, or project specifications, simply stating that a device be NTCIP-conformant is not enough. When creating specifications that call for NTCIP, the requirements need to be as specific as possible. So, how do you ensure that you have a good specification?

Specific Requests, Specific Results

The Protocol Requirements List (PRL) is a vital tool when creating an NTCIP specification. The PRL lists and defines all the features and variations that can be specified with NTCIP. This includes all of the mandatory and optional functional features.

General requests within your specification lead to wasted time, money, and result in unused equipment. Using the PRL to create a specification will help ensure all your projects and communications abide by the NTCIP requirements you need. To write a good specification, review the PRL, and select the items that you need your system to support.

Both specifying authorities and manufacturers benefit from using PRLs. Specifying authorities benefit because choosing specific items on the PRL increases the accuracy of the bids received. Manufacturers benefit because they indicate functional requirements supported by their devices. Their list is referred to as a protocol implementation conformance statement (PICS).

For more information on PRLs, review our post titled “NTCIP Protocol Requirements Lists (PRL) – An Overview” at

We’re Here to Help

Delcan Technologies employs a full team of NTCIP experts to guide any entity, including specifying authorities and device manufacturers, through the process of design, development, and testing. This ensures that all elements of the Advanced Traffic Management System are in full conformance with industry standards.

You can also visit the US Department of Transportation’s website to view their resource at