National Automated Highway Systems Consortium

National Automated Highway System Consortium (NAHSC) Results

This year is the twentieth anniversary of Demo ’97, the San Diego demonstration of highway automation technologies by the National Automated Highway System Consortium (NAHSC).  In commemoration of this anniversary, we thought it would be worthwhile to make available on the Web the documentation of Demo ’97 and of the other work of the NAHSC.  In particular, most of the reports that the NAHSC delivered to the U.S. DOT were not published or made generally available to the public, but have only existed in a handful of hard copies until now. 

The contents of these reports represent the majority of the work that was done by the NAHSC from its start in late 1994 to its premature termination in the spring of 1998.  It is important that researchers who are interested in highway automation have access to this information so that they can be aware of the work that has already been done and can avoid “reinventing the wheel”.  It is also worth noting that although Demo ’97 was the most visible product of the NAHSC, it was only one element of the program and could not represent the breadth and depth of research that was being done throughout the program. 

Photo Gallery 1

Photo Gallery 2


The documents that are available here are:

1. System Objectives and Characteristics Document – The only report that was published, this provides a high-level definition of the problems to be addressed by the automated highway system.

2. AHS_Milestone_One – This report describes the original program plan for what was planned as a seven-year research project, lasting until 2002.

3. AHS_WBS-C1_Final_Rpt – This report from June 1996 describes the automated highway system concepts that were initially defined and evaluated, leading to a down-selection to five concepts for subsequent detailed analysis.  It includes concepts submitted through a broad public solicitation and the results of a public workshop in October 1995.

4. AHS_WBS-C1_Final_Rpt_Appendices – This file contains Appendices A-H of this final report, with the supporting details behind the concepts and their evaluation.

5. AHS-Milestone_2_Report_Task-C21 – This report from June 1997 describes the second stage of concept definition and evaluation, shifting the focus from individual concepts to the attributes that influence the performance and economics of an automated highway system.  It includes detailed analyses of AHS characteristics in the main body of the report and Appendices A-M.

6. Demo97ForAVS17V6- Presentation about 20th anniversary of Demo '97 given at Automated Vehicles Symposium in San Francisco, July 11, 2017.

Deliverables at Termination

When U.S. DOT terminated the NAHSC program, the next scheduled deliverable was not yet complete, so the NAHSC provided an interim report on the concept development work that was in progress under Task C3 (referred to as the Task C3(1) report) and a final workshop briefing for the U.S. DOT summarizing what was learned and including recommendations for the then-new Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVI) program.  These included strong recommendations for an emphasis on cooperative systems, which has more recently come to the forefront with the Vehicle-Infrastructure Integration (VII) program.

6. AHS-C-3-Volume 1 – This is the first part of the report on automated highway system development work between October 1996 and December 1997, extending the concepts from fully automated driving to intermediate systems involving partial automation.  This file contains the report sections through 10.4.5

7. AHS-C-3-Volume 2 – This file contains the remainder of the report, starting from Section 10.4.6, through Section 10.6.

8. NAHSC_Final_Workshop - Final Workshop (April 1998) Briefings and summary report on the workshop

Demo ’97 Documentation

Demo ’97 generated an unprecedented level of media attention for Intelligent Transportation Systems, and we have made no attempt to capture the media aspects of that event here.  Rather, we include the report that the NAHSC delivered to U.S. DOT describing the Demo process and organizational issues, and the documentation that was provided as invitations to visitors, handouts for people who took Demo rides, and handouts provided by the NAHSC at its exhibition describing the thinking behind the automated highway concepts that were being demonstrated.  Unfortunately, no technical reports were prepared describing the design, development and testing of the demonstration vehicles, although members of the academic research teams who worked on these vehicles have published papers describing their work in conferences and journals.

9. Part_1_AHS-DEMO-97 – Main body of report on Demo ’97.

10. Part_2_AHS-DEMO-97 – Appendices to Demo ’97 report.

11. NAHSC-Presentation_Docs – Presentation brochure provided as advance publicity to media and potential visitors to Demo ’97.

12. NAHSC_Brochure-Demo&Groups - Demo ’97 invitation brochures and brochures provided to visitors when they received demonstration rides.

13. AHS-Technical_Overview -  Exhibition brochures describing NAHSC research and reasoning behind it, aimed at Demo ’97 visitors.

14. AHS-Update – This is a compendium of the AHS Update newsletters that were issued by the NAHSC and distributed to its mailing list and to exhibit visitors.