Date of Original Version



Working Paper

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Abstract or Description

A combination of market forces, cost constraints, and other factors necessitate incremental evolution of a fully automated highway system (AHS) rather than instantaneous deployment. Thus, an understanding of the interdependencies among required AHS functional capabilities is essential for planning. This paper proposes a set of three AHS functional evolution reference models that include essential as well as supplemental functions. The reference models include lateral motion handling, longitudinal motion handling, obstacle handling, and selected infrastructure support functions. This family of three models is used to present the needs of baseline autonomous tactical vehicle operation, the benefits of adding inter-vehicle communications, and the benefits of adding infrastructure support. The reference models reveal a critical need for vehicle motion prediction capability, and suggest that both communications and infrastructure support are beneficial but not mandatory for achieving an AHS. Furthermore, there appear to be a number of safety and efficiency benefits that can be realized with only partial automation and in some cases no automation. These results could help set priorities and guide strategies for incremental introduction of AHS technology into vehicles and roadways.