1997-08-06

Inspection and Maintenance for Automated Highway Systems 972653

An Automated Highway System (AHS) represents the next major enhancement to the Nation's highway system. Envisioned AHS configurations typically require a mixture of intelligence in both the vehicle and the infrastructure. Here, the infrastructure includes the roadway, roadside, check-in and check-out points, vehicle-to-roadside communications systems, and any other systems external to the vehicle that are required for the safe and efficient operation of an AHS. Due to the complexity of an AHS and the required level of safety and reliability, it will be necessary to develop innovative techniques to rapidly and accurately inspect, monitor, and maintain the health of the required infrastructure, particularly after construction and natural disasters, such as earthquakes or flooding. In order to reach the levels of reliability, safety, and functionality that will be required for a successful AHS deployment, inspection-integrated maintenance must be performed in a manner similar to that currently applied in the commercial airlines industry. This paper presents an AHS health-monitoring vehicle, known as the Infrastructure Diagnostic Vehicle (IDV), as well as one vital AHS maintenance vehicle, the Obstacle Removal Vehicle (ORV). The current version of the IDV diagnoses the discrete magnetic marker lateral reference system, checking for missing or degraded markers, as well as for incorrect polarity for information coding. It also performs rudimentary testing of vehicle-to-roadside communications systems. The ORV provides rapid response to remove debris from the roadway in a safe and efficient manner. These two systems, combined with the capabilities of an advanced Transportation Management Center (TMC), comprise the maintenance scenario for the live-vehicle demonstration at the National Automated Highway System Consortium (NAHSC) 1997 Proof-of-Technical-Feasibility Demonstration held in San Diego, California. These systems represent the beginning of a new branch of Intelligent Transportation Systems known as Advanced Construction and Maintenance Systems (ACMS).

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