Organizational Responses to Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems in North America: Analysis from Case Studies and Historical Precedent 911674

Intelligent vehicle-highway systems (IVHS) offer the prospect for improving the effectiveness of the existing road transportation system through the application of advanced computer, electronics, and communications technology. Recent efforts within government, industry, and academia have been directed toward capitalizing on the opportunities promised by such systems. Public agencies see the potential for improvements in safety and better traffic management through more effective information dissemination to the traveler. Industry anticipates growing markets for products and services which make travel more efficient and enjoyable, or at least less of a bother. Academia is positioning to provide the fundamental and applied research necessary for the design and analysis of these systems. Educators also recognize the need for college and continuing education of professionals trained in disciplines relevant to the design and management of IVHS. While the potential benefits of IVHS are relatively clear, the appropriate organizational responses are better characterized as murky, due in large part to the divisions of responsibility and authority among the institutional actors and their inherent interdependence in a providing coordinated, intelligent, road transportation system.
This paper addresses the issue of appropriate organizational response by the various actors with stakes in IVHS. It starts with a characterization of the research, development, demonstration, and implementation environment for IVHS in North America. The systems, technologies, and user requirements are described along with the nature of the dilemma in providing the necessary infrastructure and in-vehicle equipment. A typology of the actors and their interests in IVHS is then presented in order to clarify the range of roles and possible appropriate responses for the various actors. This typology was constructed through information gathered in face-to-face interviews with representatives of organizations currently active in IVHS. Potential collective responses to IVHS are formulated through analogies to similar historical developments including the development of electrical power over the period 1890-1930, high definition television in the 1980s, and videocasette recorders. Parallels between the historical cases and the development of IVHS serve as the basis for lessons which may benefit organizations in their planning for IVHS. Consistency is sought between the historical lessons and the interests of the various parties which may be dovetailed for an effective collective response.


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