The most interesting feature of AHS is a concept of group of vehicles arranged in a relatively small-fixed distance called “platoon”. Platooning is possible when every vehicle is equipped with intelligent and automation which allows smooth merging, lane changing and splitting maneuvers in a way that is advantageous to the highway performance.
Since platooning enables vehicles to operate much closer together than is possible under manual driving conditions, each lane can carry at least twice as much traffic as it can today. This should make it possible to greatly reduce highway congestion. Also, at close spacing aerodynamic drag is significantly reduced, which can lead to major reductions in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The high-performance vehicle control system also increases the safety of highway travel, reduces driving stress and tedium, and provides a very smooth ride [California PATH].
As mentioned above, an AHS requires every vehicle to be both intelligent and to some extent, automatic. This is where the Intelligent Vehicle (IV) takes its role in AHS.
IV is considered as a new technology for obtaining a more efficient driver-vehicle operation. It is meant to improve safety, operational efficiency, and convenience while driving. An IV system senses the environment around the vehicle by using sensors and strives to achieve more efficient vehicle operation by assisting the driver or by taking full control of the vehicle. Obviously, the ideal system for AHS is where the IV has fully autonomous system. In other words, the systems should remove human intervention from the control and therefore take the entire control functionalities of vehicle operations.