“AUTOMATED HIGHWAY SYSTEMS-AN INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM”
Keywords:automated highways, intelligent vehicles, Air transportation, Road vehicles, Communication system control, automotive control.
Automated highway system (AHS) is an intelligent transportation system, which removes human drivers from the operation of vehicles during driving. This talk is focused on activities on AHS at the California Partners of Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH). AHS includes control problems from the vehicle level to the highway network level and offers a number of challenging opportunities for intelligent mechatronics. The Automated Highway System (AHS) concept defines a new relationship between vehicles and the highway infrastructure. AHS refers to a set of designated lanes on a limited access roadway where specially equipped vehicles are operated under completely automatic control. AHS uses vehicle and highway control technologies that shift driving functions from the driver/operator to the vehicle. Throttle, steering, and braking are automatically controlled to provide safer and more convenient travel. AHS also uses communication, sensor and obstacle-detection technologies to recognize and react to external infrastructure conditions. The vehicles and highway cooperate to coordinate vehicle movement, avoid obstacles and improve traffic flow, improving safety and reducing congestion. The current vehicle-highway system has reached a plateau in its ability to meet the demand for moving goods and people. This paper sketches architecture for an automated highway system or AHS. The architecture can be realized by several designs that differ in terms of performance and sophistication. One design is described that could triple capacity and reduce travel time, guarantee collision-free operation in the absence of malfunctions, limit performance degradation in the case of faults, and reduce emissions by half. Evidence suggesting that the design can be implemented is summarized. It is indicated how the design can be adapted to different urban and rural scenarios and how a standard land-use model can show the impact of AHS on urban density. A summary of the progress of the National Automated Highway Systems Consortium is provided. The paper concludes with a critique of AHS.