Automated highway or smart roads is designed to provide driverless cars on dedicated roads, which can be also elevated multi level floors.
The increasing in traffic congestion is likely to be restructured by caravanning platoons of cars along electronically controlled hwy at 80 mph. according to Prof. Halal, automated hwy offer less cost, and faster and safer way to travel. It saves on the cost of the building and construction new hwy it also increase capacity of how much traffic would normal hwy, automated hwy would cost less by $10,000 a mile compare to how much cost building new regular hwy, cars will be equipped with sensors and wireless communication to control their speeds, steering and braking on the electronically controlled lanes.
Confidence inspiration of this technology one of the challenges it may face but with a bit more reflection and time many people conclude they would rather depend on computer system controlled rather than depending on drivers. Other barriers are the technical feasibility is limited to few controlled test hwy track demonstrations and who would be liable for accidents on the automated hwy.
Some of the statically numbers Prof. Halal mentioned are the cost of the regular hwy traffic costs $74 Billion per years and it is expected to be doubled in year 2020 with the increase of traffic on the roads, U.S hwy causes 40,000 fatalities and 5 million injuries each year’s costing about $150 billion.
Traffic engineering estimates automation would be double or even triple hwy capacity, improve safety considerably and would reduce the hwy construction cost, because of the steady controlled speed, automated hwy could even reduce the fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
“The idea of automated driving dates back more than 50 years, when GM presented a vision of driverless vehicles moved under automated control at the 1939 World’s Fair in NY. In the late 1950s, research by industrial organizations conceptualized automated vehicles controlled by a mechanical systems and radio controls. After the appearance of the first computers in the 1960, researcher begins thinking of uses computers to provide lateral and longitudinal control traffic management. The fully automated hwy concept was initially examined by GM with U.S DOT. During the late 1970s during this time a focus was placed on automated vehicles operating on hwy because the computers were not powerful enough at that time to consider automated hwy.”(benbest.com)
A study by a California project team shows that implementing such system would improve the throughput of hwy to 4300 vehicles per lanes per hour from existing 2000 vehicles per lane per hours, this will lead in efficiency in fuel consumption, less travel time and of course safety of travel
Prof. Halal, W. E. (2008). Technology’s promise. P. 85-86 New York, NY: http://www.path.berkeley.edu/PATH/Publications/Media/FactSheet/VPlatooning.pdf