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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Comparable Systems Analysis Of San Francisco's BART: Lessons For Automated Highway Systems

  • Author(s): Hickman, Mark D.
  • et al.

This study examines the lessons to be learned from the experience of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, particularly as applied to the growing research on automated highway systems (AHS). The first section of the report briefly motivates the analogy of BART by comparing some of the technical and non-technical performance factors surrounding both AHS and BART. Several pertinent technical and non- technical issues surrounding BART are described in more detail, emphasizing the decision-making that went in to BART's development, testing, and the beginning of revenue service. A short list of key issues is pursued in detail based on the most relevant and comparable areas of AHS and BART. On the technical side, the issues of safety, reliability, and maintenance are identified and investigated. The non-technical issues of political pressure and loss of public confidence are also investigated. The insights from the BART experience are directed toward improving the planning, design, development and ultimate deployment of AHS.

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