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 National Test Track for Automated Vehicles
New Tech AHS
Branch Chief:   LYNN BARTON
Phone No. (619) 688-6088
CALNET 8-688-6088
Caltrans Department of Transportation  California Highway Patrol

Caltrans > District 11 > Traffic Operations > New Tech AHS

 National Test Track for Automated Vehicles The HQ, New Technology and District 11 staffs, are developing a plan to make the I-15 Express Lanes with the South Control Yard (at SR-163/Kearny Villa Road) a National Test Track for Automated Highway System and Intelligent Transportation System vehicles and devices. Currently, more emphasis is being placed on in-vehicle devices, which are to improve safe driving and to help reduce accidents. Supporting this effort could pay great dividends in improving our transportation system.

The Past - In 1991, the US Congress passed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act which provided for the development of an Automated Highway System and mandated a Proof of Technical Feasibility Demonstration to be held in 1997 (Demo 97). The National Automated Highway System Consortium performed this work and presented Demo 97 in San Diego on the I-15 Express Lanes with the Exhibition at Miramar College. The Demo was very successful and showed the world various automation scenarios.
 Automated Snow Plow In the winter months clearing roads of snow is a difficult and demanding job especially in treacherous mountain roads. The roads are covered with snow and it is difficult to remove the snow efficiently without damage to the road. Why not use some of the AHS technology? District 11 Surveys and the Automated Highway System Branch are providing guidance and support to District 3 and HQ New Technology in the most efficient manner to implement an AHS guidance system using magnets. Construction was completed in September 1998 and implementation is planned for this winter.

The magnet installation was conducted on eastbound Interstate 80 from Donner Lake Interchange to the summit, installing about 4 miles of magnets in the middle lane of a three lane roadway. The District 3 crews surveyed, drilled and installed 5,463 holes with 4 magnets per hole in thirteen working days. The crews were able to accomplish this feat in such a short time due to the lessons learned in San Diego in preparation for Demo 97 by District 11 personnel. We were able to use the recommendations from the District 11 surveying team to improve our alignment design and layout techniques, shortening the job by several days. Drilling equipment from District 2 allowed use of cart mounted drilling equipment instead of hand held drills, speeding the drill and installation operation.

The snowplow for the testing has completed installation of the hardware at UC Davis and was moved to UC Berkeley (Richmond Field Station) for Software installation and integration. Initial testing at Crow’s Landing was scheduled with the first testing on Interstate 80 soon after.

Since then, the PATH partners have released  
pictures  revealing the installation and functioning of the Automated plow.
 Related New Technology links:

1. Caltrans New Technology and Research Home page: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/newtech/

2. New Technology and Research, Southern California Priority Corridor: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/newtech/docs/deploy_plan.pdf

3. New Technology and Research, Western Transportation Institute: http://www.coe.montana.edu/wti

4. New Technology and Research, UC Berkeley, Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH): http://www-path.eecs.berkeley.edu

5. California Alliance for Advanced Transportation Systems (CAATS): http://www.caats.org/

6. The Phoenix Project: A bold initiative to reduce traffic congestion, improve safety, and reduce the environmental impact of highway travel: http://www.ThePhoenixProject.org


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