Introduction

Motor vehicle user in the United Kingdom or any other part of the continent knows the magnitude of problem caused by diversions and other traffic-related issues. “According to a study by the European Commission, the external cost of congestion already amounts to 0.5% of the gross national product (GNP)” (Olariu & Weigle p. 2). As a result, technological inventions have been made in order to reduce the impacts of traffic flow.

A few vehicles have installed antennas to receive navigational messages via car radios, and these efforts have not made any significant impact to smoothen the flow of traffic. Traffic problem does not only cause tiredness and boredom to drivers but can also lead to more energy/fuel consumption and increased traffic offenses.

Therefore, finding a solution to these problems will benefit motor vehicle drivers and conserve our environment. The traffic problems stated above are solvable if strategic blueprints can be developed.

If all vehicles in the road can access information that direct them on the speed limit, traffic procession, and improved road networks backed with computer programs to monitor the traffic situation, the situation can be corrected, (Great Britain: Department for Transport, ScotlandScotish Executive, p.79).

A total of 60 European companies plan to adopt EU Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure System (CVIS). The aim of this research paper is to outline the real problem of traffic congestion in a bid to discuss modern inventions to combat the problem. This paper also critically analyzes the role of CVIS.

Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure System (CVIS)

The main objective of CVIS is to curb the traffic problems in our roads by inventing and designing new concepts that will aid a nearby road infrastructure offer communication services for drivers and other road users. The main responsibility of the CVIS is to recover the time wasted in traffic.

“The project ambition is to begin a revolution in mobility for travelers and goods, completely re-engineering how drivers, their vehicles, the goods they carry and the transport infrastructure interact” (CVIS, Fact Sheet, 2006). This approach is bound to bring significant change in the running of road affairs and impact positively on environmental issues that are a major concern of the modern world.

The aims of CVIS are to invent a standard networking system that will enhance vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. Also, the adoption of a newly designed system for cooperative traffic will ensure that the entire network is monitored so as to detect any incident that occurs along the road, (Mohan, p.101)

Another technological advance by CVIS will try to explore the improvement of motor vehicle positioning via the use of a dynamic mapping system; for instance’ by use of the Galileo design model and another relevant system of referencing. CVIS aims at coming up with a number of cooperative operations applied to aid drivers, traffic manager, and improve the mobility of freighters in the road.

To significantly achieve these aims that are bound to correct our road immobility, CVIS has gone a notch higher to develop a non-technical toolkit that will meet the challenge of deployment. “Also, there has been a focus on deployment after the CVIS project, and less attention to the deployment of the CVIS example application, as these are likely to be replaced in the future commercial software,” (CVIS, Fact Sheet, 2006).

Vehicle-Infrastructure Cooperation

The design developed by CVIS allows motor vehicle drivers to influence the control of traffic directly in a bid to get the shortest and more convenient route to his/her destination. All sign information is sent through the use of wireless technology and displayed for drivers.

In case of emergencies, staff working in the department of emergency will be able to reach the accident area faster while traffic diversion from the scene of the incident is also made.

CVIS technologies also offer the safety of hazardous and special goods by the tracking system that monitors the movement on transit along selected safe routes. “Given the forecast of continued growth in freight volumes- an estimated annual rise of between 2.0% and 2.7% – pressure to contain the negative impact of goods movement and to find commercially valid alternatives to road haulage is bound to intensify,” (McDonald, p. 195).

The success of this plan, however, depends on the interoperability of used communication systems from both the motor vehicle makers and the various roadside systems designed. In that line of argument, CVIS has then to establish a set standard of a global communication system that is compatible with a series of road networks.

This will ensure efficient inter-link networks with a wide range of modes of communication; for instance, mobile telephony, local area network connectivity, and short-range microwave (DSRC). How then can these proposed changes be justified for their applicability? In answering this question, CVIS has developed test sites in the UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany,

Italy, Belgium, and France where the applications are tested for validation of the results of the project. In addition, the system’s sustainability, the toolkit mentioned above, will ensure that widespread take-up in the future is prevented.

This can be done by requesting for user’s acceptance, setting standards of privacy and security of data, openness and interoperability, assessment of risks and liabilities, administrative policies, cost/benefit analysis, and distinguishing models that would be used in project implementation, (CVIS, 2008).

Cooperative Active Safety and Environment (CoASE)

There are different communication application systems applied in the CVIS system; vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle to the operator, and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications. This form of diversified channels of communication will ensure that the sharing of information is quick, and a quick information system will significantly increase the efficiency of road traffic links.

“The advances of electronic safety systems that will improve the efficiency and safety of transport will rely on cooperative communication to realize their full potential” (CVIS, Official Group). The expected benefits of Active Safety can be enhanced by the transmission of wireless information from the roadside to the motor vehicle user.

Wireless technologies have seen growth, and it does not only provide growth in CVIS projects but also businesses, institutions, homes in the modern set up (Mehmood, p. 176). Such benefits include vehicle-based crash prevention programs.

CoASE is a departmental area that mainly focuses on cutting fuel costs and fuel reduction strategies for the conservation of the environment via the idea of Eco-Driving. Eco-Driving success depends on how serious the political class, commercial sectors, and individuals are with the implementation of conservation efforts.

Safety measures of the CoASE that can be undertaken may be categorized as either primary or secondary safety. Primary safety programs are preventive measures that can be taken to prevent a crash from occurring. A certain percentage of road accidents are blamed on drivers’ negligence and faults.

In order to keep drivers attentive when on the road, Electronic Stability Control, Lane departure warning systems, and Blind Spot Monitoring applications have been set to combat the menace. On the other hand, secondary safety measures are meant to prevent the occurrences of injuries. The use of seat belts, side-impact bars, protection of rear seat occupants is among the secondary measure taken to enhance safety (CVIS, Official Group).

There are a number of Cooperative Active Safety systems that have been developed under CVIS. They include avoidance braking, collision warning, lane change and merge assistance, and head-on collision avoidance.

The successful implantation of these strategies will ensure that a number of expected benefits accrue to road users and the project implementers. The benefits include: increment in road network capacity, reduced air pollution and congestion, short travel periods, improved overall safety, and efficient use of traffic information that are more accurate.

Charter of CVIS DEPN

DEPN in full stands for DEPloyment, eNabling an integrated project activity. The objectives of the charter, in general, are to emphasize a number of non-technical issues that would be of great impact to the running of traffic affairs. To begin with, DEPN’s core objective is to ensure that all the inventions and applications developed by CVIS can be deployed without interference from non-technical sideshows.

The possible interferences are identified in an effort to deal with then so that a smooth process of implementation of CVIS ideals is achieved. DEPN aims at coining possible recommendations for combating non-technical impedances. Secondly, DEPN seeks to develop road maps that will comply with the new structures developed by CVIS as a migratory measure to aid road users to adapt to the new structures and operation networks.

This is crucial because this is like an overhaul of the traffic system moving from critical mass to widespread take-up of mechanisms of operation of CVIS. The whole process has to be deployed in a transparent manner of doing business in a bid to arrive at a suitable means of sharing responsibilities and liabilities.

Avoiding accidents will minimize the liability resulting from deaths, for instance, 2003’s 22% reduction of deaths and major injuries, [Transport Statistics Users Group (TSUG), stationery Office, p. 28].

The third aim of DEPN is to come up with architectural cooperation that will allow the sharing of information between various stakeholders through the application developed by CVIS.

It is, therefore, necessary to classify these measures as sub-projects under CVIS. Finally, DEPN seeks to create ‘content interfaces’ between different stakeholders as a prerequisite towards achieving interoperability between two systems (Lee, Ko, and Hahn, p. 354-359).

Analysis of Openness and Interoperability

Openness

The terms openness and interoperability could mean different things according to the context in which they are used. It is, for that matter, that we seek to give their meaning based on their applicability to CVIS definitions. The definition will take a descriptive approach, out of which an understanding of the terms can be derived.

To begin with, when we talk of openness in the cooperative systems perspective, we should be able to include all stakeholders responsible for plugging in services into the environmental concerns of the traffic system. Another inclusion of the concept of openness should necessitate the inclusion of all sub-projects with a freer distribution of potential services to CVIS programs.

Also, openness has to include mechanisms devised for all-round sharing of information for specific services. Information sharing is really varied due to the fact that information depends on the nature and type of information, and the targeted recipients. For instance, information that is meant for the Emergency Department cannot be shared with any road user.

This is because, in some cases, there can be issues of security that need not be disclosed. In addition, there may be some security measures geared towards ensuring the information systems are not hacked by computer malfunctions. Openness would also be interpreted in terms of the ease with which CVIS services can be developed.

There is no high-skilled manpower needed to invent a new program because they are just an extension of a preceding invention. Another perspective of inclusion of openness is the ability of CVIS to use public ICT standards in its software development and communication. Finally, an open system should be easily documented in interfaces.

On the other hand, openness should not include some of the under mentioned aspects. An open CVIS program should exclude services that are technologically rigid, and that can be rendered ineffective if government regulations are imposed on them. The communication system should not be used if its black box communication from outside is not possible.

If a CVIS service has indispensable interfaces with systems shielded away from black-box reception while at the same time allow usage of a sub-system, then it should be avoided. Openness should exclude vendor lock that is restricted to a specific system.

And finally, a CVIS system should not be designed in an environment that is bound to undergo development with some specified technical skills. Having looked at the things to include in an open system of CVIS and what not to include, one can now understand the meaning of openness as used in CVIS program systems.

Interoperability

In the same we have looked at the descriptive definition of openness, we define interoperability in the same manner, looking at the inclusions and exclusions of the perceived concepts in line with the understanding of the CVIS system. A CVIS system should not include the following ideas for it to be considered interoperable.

When a service only performs in certain environments and leaves out the rest, then it is not an interoperable one. In addition, if a CVIS compliant vehicle cannot be able to apply the services of ITS (Intelligent Transport Services) while en route, then it is not interoperable.

Also, if the ITS services operate different from one service provider to the other, or from one road user to another, then interoperability is not met. Finally, the interoperability of a system should exclude the one that does not allow roaming of vehicles across borders due to the incompatibility of two or more subscribed systems, (Lowe, pp.630-632).

What then are the inclusions to be considered when defining interoperability? An interoperable system should be designed, bearing in mind the specifications as given by the CVIS standards, which on implementation, impact on the environment at least meet the recommended tolerable pollution levels. A compliant system should be able to be run by more that one hardware mechanism.

Thirdly, a system would be considered interoperable if road network and infrastructure, in general, observe ITS services given by various ITS service providers when they are handed to the CVIS administrators.

ITS progress standard was formed back in October 2007 for deployment, (Hartenstein and Laberteaux, p.376). Finally, CVIS compliant program should not be influenced by other systems designed by different stakeholders and sub-system suppliers.

Interoperability and openness are some of the most valued measures taken by CVIS in coining their standards of traffic control systems and environmental sustainability as applied in road usage. CVIS recommends that for designing of application systems, the practices should strictly adhere to their set standards as contained in the CVIS deliverables.

The applications should also be based on the Open Application Management framework as provided by CVIS. In addition, the applications should adhere to the general standards of application development as prescribed by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute).

Finally, it is recommended that when undertaking design, vulnerabilities to compromised standards in the future are looked into. As a proactive measure, it is important that counteractive measures are also critically thought at the very initial stage.

In order to comply with the recommendation made by CVIS above, it is necessary to look at the basic requirements when applying for CVIS’s approval. These applications are supposed to co-exist without major interference, though it may not be easy to predict future happenings that may render the application ineffective.

There will also be global and local applications that should be considered. “The (highly volatile) local context comprises present temporary objects in the vicinity of the application’s user, whereas the (more statically in space and time) global context touches upon the global infrastructural elements of the CVIS world,” (CVIS, Cooperation Architecture, and Requirements on Content Interfaces for Interoperability, 2008).

CVIS systems are technology-based, and this implies that it will exhibit both real-time solutions and challenges at the same time. Due to these continuous changes, system applications should often be upgraded to reflect the real-time needs of any given application to be considered for CVIS affirmation.

In summary, the following requirements hold for any application system that needs CVIS’s approval;

  • Ability to of an application to deploy and develop given the prevailing availability of components even for an incomplete system. The system should be updatable, replaceable, and able to be modified when its full potential nears.
  • An application should not rely on other technologies out of its own design. This, in essence, will allow ease of replacement as the technology in use is known by a given application designer.
  • Ability of the system to interrelate with other concurrent applications when it is developed. CVIS applications are the only recognized systems applications and do not consider any other coordinated applications, and this may subject the whole system to conflicting conceptions.
  • A system of application should be able to provide an operation management system founded on the basis of CVIS’s designed procedures.

Cooperation Architecture

The main aim of cooperation architecture is to devise a way of combating possible threats to systems application and to identify opportunities and their economic benefits. Identifying opportunities enable various stakeholders to make important decisions in regard to the running of this sector. Opportunities should be available by minimizing potential barriers to new market entrants into the cooperation.

CVIS application systems are vital in creating opportunities for private companies, and in this way, an environment of investment opportunities is created. Another opportunity presented by the implementation of CVIS is that the public will be able to duplicate such services as a feat that would be beneficial to drivers and road users in general.

The general cost of deployment can be shared with various domains applications, and this will be an investment opportunity given the returns of investment it provides (Headicar, pp.9-10). Also, both the private and public will be enthusiastic in implementing the proposed traffic measures because they are the ones bound to benefit from the positivity of these proceedings.

On the contrary, the implementation of CVIS comes with a number of threats that must be considered in designing and redesigning of application systems; for instance, the sharing of computer software and applications are sources of viruses, hacking, malfunctions, Trojan horses, and worms that can make normal operations crash, (Anjum and Mouchtaris, p. 7).

Also, the safety of data is really a threat, and this creates a need for identification and authentication of legal usages. Another serious threat is the lack of full responsibility by stakeholders as those involved it CVIS projects feel they are only aiding. There is a lack of total commitment and back-to-back responsibility. CVIS services are unreliable, lack strong services, and at times designs of application are substandard.

Also, “Lack of awareness during the design phase about issues related to concurrent execution of different applications (i.e., priority, sharing of resources, conflict, etcetera), (CVIS, Cooperation Architecture, and Requirements on Content Interfaces for Interoperability, 2008).

There is a solution direction towards which CVIS projects head both in the short run and long run. Aid unveiled by interoperability and openness is the foundation upon which CVIS data models and system applications are built. In the long run, however, a robust and thorough solution should be designed to meet the challenges of ever-increasing needs of the shifting world ideas (Steventon and Wright, p. 170).

The cooperation architecture discussed above offers various opportunities for interaction that even include business models, public and private participation, and such a move is useful in solution finding for CVIS system applications.

Conclusion

Transport and road networks are the most important things in our lives today. The need for motor vehicles has been in the increase, and this has created the problem of traffic congestion. Traffic congestion has become an issue that affects human life, from costs to environmental pollution.

It is on these bases that CVIS has been developed to address the plight road users and the society at large. CVIS has well-developed plans, applications that, when fully implemented, will help in combating the traffic debacle. However, this has to be done in a way that will not bring forth other complex issues. Therefore, policies have to be coined to curb against any forms of malpractices.

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