chapter  4
43 Pages

DICAF: A Distributed, Scalable Architecture for IVHS

According to ITS America [5], surface transportation in the United States is at a crossroads. While the nation’s roads are badly clogged and congestion continues to increase, the conventional wisdom of building more roads will not work for both financial and environmental reasons. Congestion costs billions of dollars annually in lost productivity, energy wastage, and increased emissions from vehicle idling. Traffic accidents in 1993 alone caused 40,000 deaths and 5 million injuries. In response to these problems, the U.S. Congress passed ISTEA, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, whose basic goal is to develop a national transportation system that is economically efficient, environmentally sound, and moves people and goods in an energy efficient manner. The U.S. Department of Transportation, led by the Federal Highway Administration, has launched the Intelligent Vehicle Highway System (IVHS) program to meet the demands of the ISTEA. IVHS does not aim to address the capacity problem. It aims to assist in steering drivers away from bottlenecks and in introducing and managing reasonable enforcement measures such as congestion pricing. Surface transportation-related problems are not unique to the U.S. In fact, in countries with higher population densities such as Europe and Japan, the problem is more acute. The Programme for a European Traffic with Highest Efficiency and Unprecedented Safety (PROMETHEUS) [28], project in Europe and the Advanced Mobile Traffic Information and Communication System (AMTICS) program [29] in Japan closely parallel the IVHS program in the U.S..