Dr. Monica Menendez | Transport Planning and Systems

ConAuto – Traffic control in a connected and automated vehicle environment

The development in connected and automated vehicles provides more flexibility in the monitoring and control of traffic systems. Equipped with communication systems and various sensors, connected and automated vehicles can communicate with the infrastructure to report real-time information, such as location, speed, etc. Moreover, the automated driving system makes it possible to control the movement of automated vehicles. However, one thing that limits the application of connected and automated vehicles in the near future is their low penetration rates. Our research exploits the benefits of the connected and automated vehicles during this transition period to design more effective strategies for urban and highway systems.

The first part of the project aims to design traffic control strategies following the path from isolated intersections, to arterials, and ultimately to network level signal control considering conventional, connected, and automated vehicles, representing three different stages of technology development. At the intersection level, a vehicle-based strategy is proposed to reduce the total delay with the information provided by connected vehicles. Furthermore, at the arterial level, the benefits of signal coordination are explored to minimize the total delay in the arterial system in a connected vehicle environment. Lastly, at the network level, individual intersections on the urban perimeter cooperate for perimeter control using the information from connected vehicles. This is an initial attempt to bridge the macroscopic network control with microscopic intersection control. The robustness of the proposed approach is also ensured in scenarios where the information is not perfect (low penetration rates of the new technologies).