Intelligent Information Systems for Cars and Highways Essay

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Various smart vehicle and smart highway technologies and systems offer tremendous potential for improving road and vehicular safety. Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems (IVHS) have already been developed in the United States and Japan, also called Road Transport Informatics (RTI) in Europe (Collier and Weiland, 1994, p. 27). Smart highways are also referred to as Automated Vehicle Highway Systems (AVHS) or Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). The lack of global consensus on what to call smart driving and smart highways reflects the burgeoning nature and broad gamut of technologies that need to be further developed and integrated into standardized systems. The most important of the IVHS systems involve both vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) technologies. Both V2V and V2I technologies capitalize on software and hardware systems that have already been integrated into many newer automobiles, such as GPS and WiFi. Some systems also require Dedicated Short Range Communication (DRSC), which is a WiFi system with dedicated bandwidth for vehicle use (Gandhi, Singh, Mukherjee, and Chandak, 2014, p. 262). Because DRSC allows integration between onboard equipment and roadside equipment, it is currently “the only available technology which provide the latency, precision and consistency needed for active safety,” (Gandhi, Singh, Mukherjee, and Chandak, 2014, p. 262). However, new smart vehicle and smart highway technologies are continually evolving to improve road safety, easing traffic delays, and reducing pollution.

One of the most promising new innovations in ITS is Vehicular Cloud Computing (VCC), which “has a remarkable impact on traffic management and road safety by instantly using vehicular resources, such as computing, storage and internet for decision making,” (Whaiduzzaman, Sookhak, Gani & Buyya 2014, p. 325). Not only is VCC technologically feasible, it is also “economically viable,” easy to integrate into current highway systems and vehicles (Whaiduzzaman, Sookhak, Gani & Buyya, 2014, p. 325). For decades, advanced traffic management systems (ATMS), advanced traveler information systems (ATIS), commercial vehicle operations (CVO), and advanced vehicle control systems (AVCS) have already been implemented to help manage traffic on major highways around the world. Many of these systems have been used mainly for reducing congestion, with secondary benefits of improving road safety. More recent technological innovations are directly designed to improve road safety too. Integrating vehicle radars, cameras, and sensors in smart cars or self-driving vehicles within a V2I infrastructure will help optimize road safety and improve highway conditions overall.

Road safety is one of the critical concerns driving innovation, research, and development into IVHS. According to Hubaux, Capkin & Luo (2014), 1.7 million injuries and 40,000 deaths per year are attributable to traffic incidents in the United States, with approximately the same numbers in Europe.

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The costs of vehicular accidents is also alarming, at roughly US$1 trillion, nearly 3 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) (Hubaux, Capkin & Luo, 2014). In addition to promoting safety and reducing the costs associated with accidents, smart technologies can also cut down costs associated with road and traffic management, infrastructure, urban planning, and development. Building new highways is not always feasible or cost-effective. To account for urban growth around the world, smart technologies enable efficient traffic management that can supplant the need for building new roads, making IVHS ideal for promoting safety, environmental sustainability, and cost savings too (Collier and Weiland, 1994). Traffic congestion also leads to loss of worker productivity and wasted fuel, both of which are readily alleviated when using IVHS (Jurgen, 1991).

Vehicles have sensor-driven data like GPS, 360-degree positional awareness, and risk calculation. Not only can vehicles with onboard smart technologies accomplish important safety mechanisms like automatic braking and cooperative adaptive cruise control, the information is also available in the cloud-based infrastructure, communicated to other enabled vehicles on the road. Vehicles communicate with each other, as well as with the overall transportation grid. Detection of severe or changing weather conditions, changing ambient lighting, and other methods of improving safety and increasing driver awareness are integrated into IVHS.

The main obstacle to rapid penetration of IVHS is that only a small number of new vehicles are equipped with the technologies needed for V2I. Retrofitting older vehicles may be necessary for all drivers to be on board with the system. In the United States, some regulators “are proposing making mandatory V2V technology in new vehicles,” but doing so seems unrealistic (Hall, 2017). Other potential drawbacks or resistance to using IVHS technologies include privacy concerns, security, and liability. Privacy is a core concern: as personal details about each driver are available and subject to abuse or data mishandling. Legal and liability concerns weigh heavily on policymakers, as smart technologies essentially shift responsibility—and therefore legal liability—away from the driver and to the technology manufacturer or cloud system operator. Jurgen (1991) notes that it is important to differentiate between driver information systems in smart cars and fully automated driverless cars when determining….....

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Collier, W.C. and Weiland, R.J. (1994). “Smart Cars, Smart Highways.” IEEE Spectrum, April 1994.

Dokic, J. Muller, B., & Meyer, G. (2015). European roadmap smart systems for automated driving. EPOSS. Version 1.1.

Gandhi, U.D., Singh, A., Mukherjee, A. & Chandak, A. (2014). “Smart vehicle connectivity for safety applications.” 2014 International Conference on Reliability, Optimization and Information Technology, ICROIT.

Hall, E. (2017). Roads to the future. eSurance. Retrieved online:

Hubaux, J.P. Capkun, S. and Luo, J. (2014). “The Security and Privacy of Smart Vehicles.” IEEE Security and Privacy. 1540-7993/04/

Jurgen, R.K. (1991). Smart cars and highways go global. IEEE Spectrum, May 1991, 26-36.

Narla, S.R.K. (2013). “The evolution of connected vehicle technology. ITE Journal 83(7): 22-26.

Whaiduzzaman, M., Sookhak, M., Gani, A. & Buyya, R. (2014). A survey on vehicular cloud computing. Journal of Network and Computer Applications 40, 325-344.

Yu, S., Shih, O. & Tsai, H. (2013). Smart automotive lighting for vehicle safety. IEEE Communications Magazine, Dec 2013.

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