1991-08-01

Organizational Response to Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems 911673

Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems (NHS), based on the amalgamation of information technology with automotive and highway technologies, promise to help public authorities improve traffic efficiency and safety, while presenting new business opportunities to many private companies. However, IVHS also present new challenges to the cooperation of public and private sectors in an uncertain new market. Based on a relatively wide range of contacts and discussions with public, private, and academic institutions around the world, the authors try to summarize their observations regarding the organizational responses to IVHS in recent years. Both commonality and differences in these responses are discussed.Among the common trends are the formation of consortia and alliances among public, private, and academic institutions; the formation of multidisciplinary teams that work on both basic and applied research; a gradual shift from pre-competitive cooperation in program planning toward increasing competition in system differentiation and product development; and an apparent migration from international competition toward increasing international cooperation. Some professional societies whose scope encompasses important aspects of IVHS have responded by promulgation of IVHS information through their journals and conferences.Differences in organizational responses exist across sectors (public, private, and academic), across industries (automotive, electronics, and communications), and across country blocs (Europe, North America, Pacific Rim, and the newly indusmalized countries). Significant differences also exist within each sector, each industry, and each country bloc. Many of the differences seem to be explicable in terms of internal organizational characteristics such as the degree of vertical integration, the organization's traditional strength, the perception of market uncertainty, timing and relevance to organizational capabilities, and strategic choices (e.g., market leader versus follower). Other explaining factors are external to the organizations, such as different societal needs (e.g., urgency in congestion relief), different perception and evaluation of IVHS effectiveness, different legal and institutional barriers, etc. Few, if any, organizational responses to date have been in opposition to IVHS.The authors conclude that a better understanding of the commonality and differences of organizational responses can be helpful in public and strategic policy decisions regarding the new opportunities and challenges in IVHS.

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