Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) research has a long history and has provided many beneficial products and technologies used on U.S. highways today. Previous research at the Iowa Driving Simulator (IDS) looked at automated highways and platooning, a revolutionary concept that has not taken hold for several reasons. However, out of that body of work has come numerous forms of semi-automation in safety systems, such as collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, etc. The National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) has been integrally involved in testing many of these advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
The next revolutionary advance to affect transportation is not in the area of automation, rather it is in connectivity between vehicle, infrastructure, and mobile devices. Transportation connectivity has become a major plank in the ITS platform of the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The program that is being developed to fully realize the promise of connectivity technology is called IntelliDrive. IntelliDrive seeks to utilize connectivity to revolutionize transportation in the areas of safety, mobility, and environment.
There are many communications protocols that make up the transportation network. The newest addition that is expected to enable the formation of mobile ad hoc networks (MANETS) for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication is DSRC, a short range protocol centered at 5.9 Ghz. A central idea of the envisioned network is that each vehicle would broadcast 'here I am' messages which would then be picked up by surrounding vehicles and infrastructure.