Many of the components associated with the deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to support a traffic management center (TMC) such as remote control cameras, traffic speed detectors, and variable message signs, have been available for many years. Their deployment, however, has been expensive and applied primarily to freeways and interstates, and have been deployed principally in the major metropolitan areas in the US; not smaller cities.
The Knoxville (Tennessee) Transportation Planning Organization is sponsoring a project that will test the integration of several technologies to estimate near-real time traffic information data and information that could eventually be used by travelers to make better and more informed decisions related to their travel needs. The uniqueness of this demonstration is that it will seek to predict traffic conditions based on cellular phone signals already being collected by cellular communications companies. Information about the average speed on various portions of local arterials and incident identification (incident location) will be collected and compared to similar data generated by "probe vehicles". Successful validation of the speed information generated from cell phone data will allow traffic data to be generated much more economically and utilize technologies that are minimally infrastructure invasive. Furthermore, when validated, traffic information could be provided to the traveling public allowing then to make better decisions about trips. More efficient trip planning and execution can reduce congestion and associated vehicle emissions.
This paper will discuss the technologies, the demonstration project, the project details, and future directions.
Significant progress has been made with regard to bringing vehicle intelligence (VI) technologies into passenger, commercial, and military ground vehicles. Very few of these technologies, however, directly impact vehicle control systems; and although the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT's) Automated Highway System (AHS) portion of its Intelligent Systems (ITS) Program, successfully demonstrated fully-automated driving in August, 1997, most of the ITS technologies developed to date have focused on driver warning/information systems. The U.S. Department of Defense's (DOD's) Army Vehicle Intelligence Program (AVIP) is capitalizing on the lessons learned from DOT's ITS Program, and will push the envelope for selected technologies, including issues of vehicle control. As VI impinges more heavily on vehicle control, it will be beneficial to consider more closely the relationship between VI and robotics. Because a significant amount of data related to the driver, vehicle, and driving environment are already captured and managed by on-board VI systems, a rich database of information is available that would be of value for automating (or roboticizing) driver/driving functions and tasks. This paper will discuss some state-of-the-art VI technologies and will suggest how greater benefits could be achieved by examining the relationship between VI and robotics.
The virtual human will be a research/simulation environment having an integrated system of biophysical models, data, and advanced computational algorithms. It will have a Web-based interface for easy, rapid access from several points of entry. The virtual human will serve as a platform for national and international users from governments, academia and industry to investigate the widest range of human biological and physical response to stimuli, be they biological, chemical, or physical. This effort will go far beyond the modeling of anatomy to incorporate refined computational models of whole-body processes, using mechanical and electrical tissue properties, and biology from physiology to biochemical information. The platform will respond mechanistically to varied and potentially iterative stimuli that can be visualized multi- dimensionally. This effort is in the formative stage of a several-year process that will lead to a program that is of similar proportion to the human genome, but will be much more computationally intensive. The main purpose of this paper is to communicate our early ideas about the philosophic basis of the program, to identify some of the applications for which the virtual human would be used, to elicit comments, and to provide a basis to identify prospective collaborators.