IVHS: The Invisible Revolution

by John Prendergast, Managing Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 4, Pg. 42-45

Document Type: Feature article


Federal funding for intelligent vehicle highway systems has increased a hundredfold since 1989, from $2 million to almost $200 million. Transportation planners are looking increasingly to IVHS to improve system efficiency by steering drivers away from bottlenecks (and perhaps to transportation alternatives like high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and public transit systems), as well as reducing air pollution caused by congestion. However, a number of obstacles both technical and non-technical could slow progress, and some critics question the basic premise behind IVHS, dismissing it as a technological fix for what is essentially a social problem: How to wean American society from its 50-year love affair with the automobile. The article covers the potential benefits of the technology and the questions about its effectiveness, technical and institutional constraints to be resolved, ongoing operational tests and next steps to move to real-world deployment.

Subject Headings: Intelligent transportation systems | Traffic congestion | High occupancy vehicles | Public transportation | Air pollution | Federal government | Financing | Driver behavior

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