Potential Freeway Capacity Effects of Advanced Vehicle Control Systems

by Steven E. Shladover, Univ of California at Berkeley, Richmond, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Applications of Advanced Technologies in Transportation Engineering


Intelligent Vehicle/Highway Systems (IVHS) are intended to improve the productivity (capacity) and safety of the road transportation system. The PATH program has placed a stronger emphasis on the Advanced Vehicle Control Systems (AVCS) aspect of IVHS than other current programs have, based on the potential that AVCS appear to offer for very significant improvements in capacity and safety. This paper explains how that potential for improvement has been estimated, and illustrates with some sample estimates of the lane capacity that could be achieved by operating vehicles in fully automated platoons. AVCS was subdivided into three evolutionary stages of development. AVCS I systems will provide driver warning and assistance, to help drivers avoid potential accident situations, while the drivers retain control of their vehicles. AVCS II systems will provide for full automation of vehicle steering and engine and breaking functions when the vehicles are operated on special restricted-access links in the highway network, while AVCS III will extend the AVCS II type of automation to complete networks, with automatic routing and scheduling of trips in the automated network.

Subject Headings: Control systems | Intelligent transportation systems | Highways and roads | Vehicles | Automated transit systems | System analysis | Traffic safety | Traffic capacity

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