Advanced Vehicle Control Systems (AVCS) for Productivity Enhancement “It's Not Just for Safety Anymore” 970452
AVCS applications for productivity enhancement can be implemented now to produce a positive return on investment, unlike systems developed for the consumer automobile market which will not be commercially available in the near term. This area of development has been previously neglected because commercial vehicle and transit operators have been unaware of the maturity of AVCS technologies. AVCS researchers have focused almost exclusively on safety applications.
It is widely believed that barriers to many AVCS applications are more due to institutional, economic, and legal issues than technology limitations. In order to sustain and accelerate the AVCS deployment process, it is desirable to demonstrate the benefits of AVCS in the very near future. Ideal candidate applications for early deployment should include the following features: a controlled and structured vehicle operating environment, a user group willing to assess new technology applications, substantial user benefits from automation, and an industry private sector with interest in significant partnerships and cost share roles in the operational testing.
Applications which appear promising after preliminary analysis include: unloading containers from ships, trailer movement within freight facilities, moving transit buses through overnight maintenance routines in assembly-line type operations, safer and more rapid snow removal using lateral guidance assistance on highways and airport runways, and lateral guidance assistance for buses on busway segments.
Through equipping vehicles and infrastructure for these applications, technologists gain important real-world lessons, and operators develop familiarity and confidence in the systems. This deployment approach will pave the way for subsequent on-highway applicaiions.
This paper calls for greater emphasis on the productivity enhancements that can be gained through the use of AVCS technologies. Several application areas are offered as conceptual proof of these benefits.