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Conference Paper


Active Highways


Highways are an essential component of our society because they are critical to quality of life and to local and national economies. Under good conditions, highways provide a safe and efficient route for people and goods to reach their destinations. However, as a direct consequence of their use, traffic congestion is ever-increasing, undermining the ability of highways to adequately provide an acceptable quality of service. It has become imperative for highway traffic to provide the same time guarantee quality as other transportation methods such as air and rail travel, while maintaining the convenience of flexible scheduling and destination for the individual traveler. In this position paper, we propose Active Highways, a fundamental departure from today's highway traffic management approaches that shifts the highway paradigm from a transportation infrastructure that monitors and controls traffic at the aggregate level, to a computer-based service that operates at the level of individual vehicles. In this sense, highways will become active managers of their own traffic similar to air traffic control. In our vision, future highways and future vehicles will communicate with one another, making the highway system aware of the drivers' travel plans and allowing it to cooperate with and actively instruct the driver on achieving them. In particular, Active Highways will allow drivers to reserve slots in special high-priority intelligent lanes. This fine-grained traffic management model will guarantee travel time bounds, handle exceptions and enforce global community and environmental policies using real-time information from vehicle- and infrastructure-based sensors.

Paper: PDF file of paper

Information & Date

In International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC), Cannes, France, September. 2008


Liviu Iftode
Stephen Smaldone
Mario Gerla
James Misener