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An Automated Highway System (AHS) can be defined as an electronically integrated vehicle and road management system that provides an automatic drive path to vehicles. The sensors induced in the highway are linked with the vehicle transmission systems and can act as the visual and auditory senses of vehicles.
The concept of an Automated Highway is not a novel idea but was first presented in the 1939 General Motor Show, and since then it has been an active research topic in the engineering world (Horowitz & Varaiya, 2000; Ferlis 2007).
Apart from designing the appropriate sensors, connected vehicles with the same transmission frequencies, and information technology support to these AHS, there will be major changes observed in the infrastructure of transport systems and principles of civil engineering currently used in roads development/construction.
This chapter provides the foundation of the proposed study and is comprised of the aim and objectives, limitations, background, research questions, and structure of the dissertation.
The aim of the research proposed in this outline is to evaluate and explore the challenges and factors affecting the designing and implementation of automated highway systems (AHS) in the UK with respect to the civil engineering principles and infrastructure of AHS. The paper will also highlight the impact of such systems on the sustainable development of the UK, specifically with reference to the sustainability vision of the year 2050.
The dissertation will proceed in view of the subsequent main objectives:
Hence, in view of the above-described objectives, the following research question is formed…
What is the impact of automated highway systems (AHS) establishment on infrastructure and civil engineering principles in terms of the built environment, and is AHS a viable system of the future?
The concept of an automated highway system lies in the category of “Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems (IVHS)” (Carbaugh et al 1998), also termed as information technology systems (ITS), which was suggested to be integrated by the year 2030 in developed countries such as the UK.
According to Guldner et al (2000), despite all the known benefits of this system and the efforts of planners, the idea of AHS is yet to be materialized in the world. In this context, various studies and proposals are found to address the important actions to be taken to develop such a system (Guldner et al, 1999; Schonfeld, 2010).
According to Sinha, K., & Labi, S. (2007), a properly invented and designed automated highway system would adequately address the traffic congestion, safety from accidents, speed controls, fuel costs, and other problems that are the main issues on highways.
In order to achieve the goals of this proposed study, the Literature review chapter will assess the scope of study and provide a critical review of theories and scholarly articles related to AHS benefits and challenges, The issues of infrastructure and design of AHS will also be explored through this literature. The theoretical framework will be formed with the help of already available secondary data in the concerned field.
The research methodology suggested for the proposed research will be a combination of both exploratory and descriptive methods. Hence, a realism philosophy will provide the basis for the research framework. The research strategy will base on both surveys of common stakeholders and interviews of transportation planners in the UK.
The major data collection will be done with the help of secondary sources. The authentic, relevant, and current data will be collected from both print and online sources related to research on the transportation system and aspects of civil engineering related to AHS
The primary data can be collected from the public sector road development organizations of the UK in both private and government sectors. The respondent's sample will include the opinions of transport planners, visionary leaders, and stakeholders of the transport system in the UK.
A brief but precise questionnaire will be developed, which will include descriptive as well as multiple-choice questions. The questionnaire will be drafted in light of the research question, research aims/objectives and the literature reviewed.
The questionnaire will be e-mailed to the participants of large organization infrastructure development, mostly managers and engineers, and only fully completed questionnaires from a valid source will be included in the paper.
The sample size for the survey can be around 25 to 30 respondents and qualitative data will be collected. The small sample size is due to the less availability of professionals in transport management and engineering areas.
The data analysis of survey results will be performed through SPSS and/or other tools of correlation and regression. The outcome of the study will be discussed in view of the reviewed literature.
This chapter will be comprised of the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data and the discussion on the basis of these findings. The conclusion of the research findings will be drawn on the basis of this chapter.
Conclusion and recommendations on the basis of analyzed data and discussed results will be presented in this section. The limitations and future implications of the study will also be included in this chapter.
Ferlis, R. A. (2007). The Dream of an Automated Highway. Public Roads
Carbaugh, J., Godbole, D., & Sengupta, R. (1998). Safety and capacity analysis of automated and manual highway systems. Transportation Research Part C, 69-99.
Guldner, J., Patwardhan, S., Tan, H.S. (1999), “Coding of Road Information for Automated Highways”. ‘Taylor & Francis Online. [Online]. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10248079908903748#.VSe5zM5N3zI.(Accessed: March 27, 2015).
Guldner, J., Patwardhan, S., Tan, H.S., Chen, C., Bougler, B. (2000). “Lane changing with look-down reference systems on automated highways”. ‘Science Direct’. [Online]. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967066100000265 (Accessed: March 27, 2015)
Heaslip, K., Womack, K. C., & Muhs, J. (2011, January 23-28). Automated Electric Transportation: A Way to Meet America's Critical Issues. Leadership & Management in Engineering
Horowitz, R. & Varaiya, P. (2000), “Control Design of an Automated Highway System”. ‘Invited Paper’. [Online]. Available: http://www2.me.berkeley.edu/~horowitz/Publications_files/Papers_numbered/Journal/42j_Horowitz_Control_design_AHS_PIEEE00.pdf (Accessed: March 27, 2015).
Lank, C., Haberstroh, M., & Wille, M. (2010). Interaction Between Human, Machine, and Environment in Automated Driving Systems. TRB 90th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board.
Sinha, K., & Labi, S. (2007). Transportation Decision Making: Principles of Project Evaluation and Programming. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Schonfeld, E. (2010, August 2). Department of Outlandish Ideas: Build Solar Roadways. Retrieved December 2010, from GreenTech: http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/02/solar-roadways/