1997-08-06

The Development of Automated Vehicle Guidance Systems - Commonalities and Differences Between the State of California and the Netherlands 972672

The problem of increasing congestion on highways has become a world-wide issue. It is not always feasible and often also not desirable to add highway lanes. This paper focuses on a particular class of solutions: Automated Vehicle Guidance (AVG) systems. They can be defined as systems in which the driving task is taken over partially or entirely by an automated system. Through automation, AVG systems have the potential of enabling safe driving with short inter-vehicle distance at high speeds and hence have been considered as a promising tool to improve highway traffic and safety.
Two important and challenging questions motivated this research. First, how AVG systems may develop from the current vehicle-highway systems to a possible future state such as a fully Automated Highway Systems (AHS). Second, to understand which factors may affect the development of AVG in which ways.
This paper identifies major commonalities and differences in the development of AVG systems in the State of California of US and in the Netherlands. Many commonalities have been identified, e.g., the existence of technical, market, and social-economical uncertainties and the need to cope with these uncertainties during research, development and deployment. Other commonalities were found with respect to the necessity of “stakeholder” or “interest group” participation and even cooperation and the need for progressive or incremental deployment..
Major differences occur in the degree of emphasis on automated highway systems. Differences were also found in the kinds and degrees of uncertainties and the companion methods used in addressing the uncertainties. Finally, transportation system characteristics were found to differ.

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