Data standards will be necessary to facilitate traffic flow in the future, and government officials, engineers, and automakers are considering various ways to implement the technology.
Engineers at Vanderbilt University and the University of California, Berkeley are working on an integrated infrastructure that will monitor roads and control traffic flow accordingly. For example, the system will control ramp lights that tell vehicles when to enter the highway. The system could be on the roads in Southern California within a few years.
Also likely to emerge within a few years are parking systems that tell drivers the locations and costs of available spaces, and possibly reserve a space.
In addition, dedicated short range communications technology is emerging that enables vehicles to share real-time information about location and speed, and alerts vehicles of the need for evasive action. U.S. Department of Transportation CIO Richard McKinney says his agency is discussing the need for standards on data exchanges, as information technology plays an increasing role in transportation. McKinney says the transportation industry hopes to avoid a scenario within 10 to 15 years of competing data standards that impede communications.
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