From its modest beginnings under the federal Transit Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (TIVI), the development of Intelligent Vehicle Systems (IVS)
technologies has expanded from a federal "initiative" to a much broader role that provides transit with core business tools. As a result of these efforts, state-of-the-art intelligent vehicle systems now provide transit with advance warnings of impending mechanical and electrical failures, integrated single-point operator sign-on of various onboard systems, management of onboard devices, adaptive vehicle control, route guidance, rear-end collision warnings, and automatic next-stop annunciation for passengers.
"Intelligence" in an onboard vehicle system implies the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge, the ability to cope with demands created by novel situations and new problems, and to apply what is learned from the experience as effective guides to behavior. Intelligent onboard systems automatically acquire relevant data from internal sensors and other systems throughout the vehicle and the surrounding environment. These systems then compare and process the data to create actionable information, coordinate responses with other systems, monitor the correctness and effectiveness of those responses, and modify them accordingly. It is the cooperative and interactive aspects of these systems that distinguish them from thier "less intelligent" or "dumb" predecessors, which were limited by simple programming and lack of standardized interfaces.