Michigan wants a smart highway on I-94. A dumb highway is better


A recent big announcement says the Cavnue consortium and Michigant will build a "Connected Autonomous Vehicle" corridor on I-94 outside Detroit. It's the classic "smart road" which special infrastructure and cars communicating with it.

But is it that smart, or is a dumb highway smarter in the end?

I outline the reasons in this Forbes site article at Michigan wants a smart highway on I-94. A dumb highway is better


Interesting article. However there is a minor thing that differentiates the case of Internet comms and apps vs the road infrastructure and the autonomous car: passengers and lifes.
If a byte suffers a "crash" it is repeated by the source and it finally arrives to its destination. Unfortunately this is harder to emulate for passengers of a car if there is a car accident. Thinking that cars alone will be able to solve such a complex problem for all road it is a bit ingenous. Complex solutions require the participation of different stakeholders. Infra will play a role here and there will be a trade-off between cost and support but solutions like cavnue will be required to ensure safety and law enforcement. Who is going to supervise the vehicle behaviour...? There are no elements like "routers" in the road neither. Cooperating is normally a longer term solution, more sustainable and resilient...

I didnt mean ingenous but naive...

Yes, one of the internet's innovation was the use of best efforts delivery. That's not OK for transportation of people, but it's far from all the internet had. The key to the stupid network is who has to sign off on innovation. For a smart road, if you want innovation, the road authority has to sign off and so do all the cars, eventually all of them. If the car only talks to its HQ there is only one party who has to sign off on doing something new.

The worst thing about the supposed solution that a dedicated robocar lane offers is that they are trying to solve the part of the self driving problem that is already solved or at least most close to already solved.
The highway is the easiest environment to operate in, and therefore gives the least effect in helping to make autonomous vehicles a reality.
Solving the pickup and drop off issue seems to be the area needing most attention and therefore infrastructure assistance, if that were possible.

It is a bit of the "If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail" problem. If you work on infrastructure, you want infrastructure to be the solution.

"People in the mobile data business created a competing protocol based on their work called C-V2X which appears to have “won” the battle with DSRC. Even C-V2X is already trying a layer violation and still is not deployed or used."

What is the layer violation being attempted?

Because the low level hardware and link layers are tied intimately with the protocols and application layers. C-v2x is a whole system of radio (derived from LTE) and specific protocols and messages tied together. It defines the messages and what you do with them.

You want to create the lower communication layer independently of the protocols and applications on top of it.

An application is something like "Learn about a road hazard up ahead" or "attempt cooperation with another car." How the physical signal gets there should not be part of it.

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