Fully Automated Highway System

Topics: Interstate Highway System, Control system, Aerodynamics Pages: 3 (1103 words) Published: February 22, 2013
Fully Automated Highways Systems:
Imagine a world where your car drives you and you don’t drive it! A world in which your car will take you any place, any time and all you have to do is sit there. This world is not so far away. The need for fully automated highway system development is in high demand due to the factors stated above. Fortunately, there is one such technology in the works, vehicle platooning; vehicle platooning is method used in AHS to increase the capacity of highways. The eight-vehicle platoon demonstration at the National Automated Highway Systems Consortium Technical Feasibility Demonstration, held in San Diego from August 7-10, 1997, successfully demonstrated the technical feasibility of operating standard automobiles, Buick LeSabres, under precise automatic control at close spacing and at highway speeds. Riders experienced real travel in a fully automated AHS vehicle, and were shown that comfortable, high-capacity, automated travel is technically feasible in the near future. Since platooning enables vehicles to operate much closer together than is possible under manual driving conditions, each lane can carry at least twice as much traffic as it can today. This should make it possible to greatly reduce highway congestion. Also, at close spacing aerodynamic drag is significantly reduced, which can lead to major reductions in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The high-performance vehicle control system also increases the safety of highway travel, reduces driving stress and tedium, and provides for a very smooth ride. At Demo ’97, the eight vehicles of the PATH platoon traveled at a fixed separation distance of 21 feet at all speeds up to full highway speed. At this spacing, eight-vehicle platoons separated by a safe inter-platoon gap of about 200 ft. and traveling at 65 mph would represent a “pipeline” capacity of about 5700 vehicles per hour. Reducing this by 25% to allow for the maneuvering needed at entry and exit points corresponds...
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