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An electronic route-guidance system for highway vehicles

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3 Author(s)
Rosen, D.A. ; Bureau of Public Roads, Washington, D.C. ; Mammano, F.J. ; Favout, R.

The electronic route-guidance system (ERGS) is the result of an effort by the Office of Research and Development, Bureau of Public Roads, to develop a new concept for guiding the motorist. To implement the concept, a system has been developed which makes use of electronic equipment both in the participating vehicles, and at intersections which are to supply guidance instructions. The system is destination oriented. The driver enters a code word, representing his intended destination, into the vehicle equipment. Then as the vehicle approaches each instrumented intersection, the destination code is transmitted to the roadside where it is decoded, according to a stored program, and a routing instruction is transmitted back to the vehicle. In the vehicle, the routing instruction is displayed to the driver in the form of a symbol or word message, which gives the maneuver the driver should make at the upcoming intersection or interchange to reach his destination optimally. The development of the system from its conception to its future application and benefits are discussed. The descriptions of today's highway routing problems in the "static" and "dynamic" situations are presented, then the outline of the Bureau of Public Road's developmental effort and the major contributions of its various contractors is discussed; Philco-Ford's development of a destination coding system and techniques for solving optimal routings, General Motors Corporation's development of an installed and operating engineering model, Serendipity's determination of driver-information requirements for ERGS, and Kollsman Instrument Corporation's development of an automobile head-up display for the ERGS routing symbols. A separate section gives a description of the General Motors system design at the functional and component level. Future development and system benefits are discussed. Dynamic system requirements over and above the present or static ERGS are envisioned, including both additional hardware and software. Benefits to the highway system and to the highway user are given for the static or preprogrammed system and for the dynamic system. A highway transportation subsystem which could be implemented in the near future, and which retains the driver as an integral part of the s- ystem, but is expected to enhance the driver's performance by unburdening his route guidance task and allowing more attention to the primary task of controlling the vehicle, is presented. Furthermore, the addition of central control facilities and communications links to intersections is expected to permit more uniform distribution of traffic over the highway network.

Published in:

Vehicular Technology, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 1 )