HC Vehicles

Auto-Pilot Technology
The presence of drive-by-wire in vehicles combined with GPS (guidance) through cellular technology will allow HC vehicles to have "auto-piloting" capabilities. (The symmetrical grid layout of the HC's streets along with the fact that HC streets are easily accessible below surface will make the system easier to implement). This system will allow for, of course, automated point-to-point driving; automatic observance of applicable traffic signs and signals (e.g., stops, yields and red lights); speed limit observance; etc. The capabilities of satellite guidance systems in use today (e.g. the OnStar system demonstrate the feasibility of the planned HC system.

Accident Prevention
Furthermore, by a vehicle's GPS guidance system being made capable of emitting a "virtual buffer zone" around a vehicle, even as it is moving, it will be possible to completely prevent vehicle accidents by programming the HC's auto-piloting control system (APCS) to not allow two vehicles to occupy the same space including the buffer space. If two vehicles are about to occupy the same space (i.e., come into collision) each vehicle's auto-pilot systems will be able to make the drive-by-wire perform the necessary actions (e.g., brake, decelerate, accelerate, steer right or left, etc) in order to avoid the collsion. Since the APCS will not permit a vehicle to sustainably exceed a local speed limit (except in authorized emergency situations) ,the many accidents which are caused by excessive speed will automatically be reduced to zero.
The worthwhileness of this elaborate system can of course be seen when one considers the high amount of annual Highway traffic crashes and casualties that occur every year. The following table shows the highway traffic safety statistics for the United States, which, on a worldwide scale has arguably the best transportation infrastructure (i.e., quality roadways, lighting, signalisation, servicing, etc) along with advanced safety technology in most vehicles. While the NJK's population of is less than the year-ending 2003 US estimate resident population of 292,324,700, these stats totals would have been comparable with NJK (would-be) statistics as 100% of the NJK highway traffic would have been in the higher-risk urban environment.

US 20003 Highway Safety Statistics
Source: US Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) - Tables 2.1-3

It can also be seen that the tremendous economic savings in terms of material for repairs and restorations medical assistance and emergency personel along with rescue equipment will more than provide the necessary materials and personnel needed to implement the HC APCS System.

The APCS will also be programmed (and updated if necessary) with the exact location coordinates of all of the HC's non-moving objects,(e.g., trees, light posts, houses and buildings, barriers, etc). Therefore it will prevent vehicles from running into these stationery objects.

An alternative or assistance to the satellite system would be a groundbase landmark identification system using possibly Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. This system will help vehicles determine where other vehicles and objects are located. It could serve as a backup and/or second level check to the satellite system.

[As the APCS guidance system does not need to know the particular identity or any descriptive characteristics of the vehicle it is "buffering"(i.e., protecting) and guiding in order to accomplish its task, the entire system will be completely anonymous and thus non-tracking. For example if the system sees the vehicle is about to collide with an object 3 m (10 ft) it will relay this warning to the car whose auto-piloting system will then determine what specific actions it needs to take in order to avoid this (i.e., apply a moderate braking or a maximum braking, steer left or right, etc) depending on the vehicles current and particular parameters (e.g., current speed, current weight load, tire pressures and tread wear and traction, the current condition of other applicable parts, like shock absorbers, brakes, etc and also current road conditions].

Pedestrian Protection
Pedestrians can also be shielded from being struck by vehicles by wearing a virtual-buffer emitter as they go about. This could be a beeper-like device or even a watch. Microtechnology will allow these devices to be even smaller. Pedalcyclists, mobile accessories (rollerblades, skateboards) and mountable mobile toys could have this device built into them. May 28, 2008