Rapidly increasing demand for transportation combined with limited ability for expansion of facilities has led to recent degradations in the quality of transportation systems. Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems (IVHS) represent a promising effort toward enabling more effective and efficient use of current capacity thus in essence expanding the roadway. As the concepts and technologies utilized by IVHS are new to much of the transportation community there is a need for an educational initiative in this area.
In 1990 the University of Michigan (UM) responded to this need by creating the first, and to date the only, university program in IVHS education. The IVHS Education Program is receiving initial multi-year support from the U.S. Department of Transportation with matching support from the University of Michigan. Significant assistance is also being provided by sponsors from industry, the Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan State University (MSU), and Wayne State University (WSU).
The Program is structured as a cross-disciplinary cooperative effort to provide both traditional university and continuing education. Key new initiatives include; 1) a Certificate in Transportation Studies: IVHS which has been designed to complement the depth gained through a master's or Ph.D degree in an established discipline by providing breadth in practical knowledge relevant to IVHS, 2) an Engineering Summer Conference which is offered to expose practicing engineers and professionals to the latest developments in IVHS, and 3) an Executive Education Seminar which is held for corporate and government executives and planners interested in strategic issues in IVHS.
The unconventional nature of the IVHS Education Program gave rise to a number of unique difficulties during development and implementation in a traditional university setting. It is hoped that the UM experience in over-coming these hindrances will prove beneficial to any institution seeking to provide similar education.