Coordinated vehicle highway systems link vehicles to each other and the transport infrastructure via wireless communications – enabling them to share information for improved safety, mobility, and efficiency of operations. Pedestrians, motorcycles, cyclists and other users may also be equipped with handheld or wearable devices which allow them to interact with the system. For example, walking canes enabled with wireless technology to link to customised applications that provide walking directions or warn about obstacles.
These sorts of systems are being developed and tested. A number of technical, financial and organisational, legal and other institutional challenges need to be addressed before they can be deployed on a large scale. Key issues include:
Technologies for safety-critical data capture and communications must be developed to operate at appropriate levels of reliability and interoperability. Systems need to be future proof – able to handle new technology developments and be compatible and interoperable so long as consumer devices and infrastructure remain in service. (See About Standards)
There are security and privacy implications to enabling an unprecedented amount of communication between vehicles (peer to peer) and information sharing across the entire transport network. This requires the development of:
Both the initial deployment and the on-going operation of connected vehicle highway systems must be financed in a sustainable way supported by effective organisational and communication structures between stakeholders – for both field and central office operations. (See Financing ITS and Inter-agency Working)
As with any networked system, connected vehicle programmes are only effective if a sufficiently large number of vehicles participate. To achieve this objective, strategies to accelerate their deployment in consumer and commercial vehicle fleets will need to be developed. They may include some sort of incentive scheme or mandating their deployment.