Growing traffic congestion is choking most of the world s overloaded roads. Intelligent vehicles and automated highways could solve this problem. Anyone who drives to work in any metropolitan areas knows that highway traffic congestion is getting worse. Average travel speed on a crowded commuter corridors near large cities drop to about 36 miles per hour at rush hour, leading annually to some 5 billion collective hours of delay and estimated productivity loses of about 50 billion dollars nationwide. Meanwhile the cars. trucks and buses caught in chronic traffic janis waste vast amounts of fi!el as they emit copious quantities of exhaust. Although the public may be loathe to face it, the unimpeded mobility of the automobile is threatened by traffic choked roadways.
The traditional solution has been to construct more and larger roadways, but that is no longer seen as viable option by transportation planners due to high fmanÃƒÂ©ial, social and environmental costs of such giant projects. Only other method was the efficient use of the existing road network using advanced road technology. But the diverse group that comprise the countries transportation community such as federal, state and local govermnent agencies, industries, academia, trade associations and consumer and public-interest groups where always on intense debate as to what form that system should take.
It was needed to better meet the seemingly unsatisfiable demand or the freedom and mobility provided by cars and other vehicles. For this it was necessary to find ways to operate the existing system more efficiently and effectively. One approach would be to develop automated highways that features a lane or a set of lanes on which vehicles equipped with specialised sensors and wireless communication systems could travel under perhaps in small convoys or platoons. Vehicles could be temporarily linked together in communication networks, which would allow the continuous exchange of information about speed, acceleration, braking, obstacles and so forth. Small networks of computers installed in vehicles and along selected roadways could closely co-ordinate vehicles and harmonise the traffic flow maximising highway capacity and passenger safety.