In the not-so-distant future, city streets could be flooded with autonomous vehicles. Self-driving cars can move faster and travel closer together, allowing more of them to fit on the road – potentially leading to congestion and gridlock on city streets.
A new study by Cornell researchers developed a first-of-its-kind model to control traffic and intersections in order to increase car capacity on urban streets, reduce congestion and minimize accidents.
“For the future of mobility, so much attention has been paid to autonomous cars,” said Oliver Gao, professor of civil and environmental engineering and senior author of “Optimal Traffic Control at Smart Intersections: Automated Network Fundamental Diagram,” which published Dec. 15 in Transportation Research Part B.
“If you have all these autonomous cars on the road, you’ll see that our roads and our intersections could become the limiting factor,” Gao said. “In this paper we look at the interaction between autonomous cars and our infrastructure on the ground so we can unlock the real capacity of autonomous transportation.”
The researchers’ model allows groups of autonomous cars, known as platoons, to pass through one-way intersections without waiting, and the results of a mircosimulation showed it increased the capacity of vehicles on city streets up to 138% over conventional traffic signal systems, according to the study. The model assumes only autonomous cars are on the road; Gao’s team is addressing situations with a combination of autonomous and human-driven cars in future research.
Car manufacturers and researchers around the world are developing prototypes of self-driving cars, which are expected to be introduced by 2025. But until now, little research has focused on the infrastructure that will support these driverless cars.
Autonomous vehicles will be able to communicate with each other, offering opportunities for coordination and efficiency. The researchers’ model takes advantage of this capability, as well as smart infrastructure, in order to optimize traffic so cars can pass quickly and safely through intersections.
“Instead of having a fixed green or red light at the intersection, these cycles can be adjusted dynamically,” Gao said. “And this control can be adjusted to allow for platoons of cars to pass.”
Models exist to optimize today’s intersections in order to ease the flow of traffic, but these aren’t directly applicable to autonomous vehicles. The number of cars that can operate on urban streets depends on the precision and speed of sensors, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, and the system that actually controls the machines.
Most models assume that, for greater efficiency, autonomous vehicles will travel in platoons, heading in the same direction for a period before peeling off and joining different platoons. The researchers’ framework determines the optimal traffic configuration – the number of cars traveling in each platoon approaching intersections – as one of its primary variables.
However, mathematical errors associated with this coordination can cause operational failures or accidents. To counter this, the researchers developed a formula that considers the probability of failures and, accordingly, adds a time gap of an optimal length between crossing platoons.
“By coordinating the platoon size and the gap length between cars and platoons, we can maximize the flow and capacity,” Gao said. This allows platoons of self-driving vehicles to pass through intersections that don’t have traffic signals without interruption, limiting congestion.
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- One dead after single-vehicle crash in the Village of Hustisfordon May 9, 2020 at 11:19 am
DODGE COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – A single-vehicle crash in Dodge County on Saturday morning leaves one individual dead. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office announced that at around 11 a.m., ...
- Theragun Officially Changes Its Name To Therabodyon May 8, 2020 at 4:19 pm
Theragun the pioneer in percussive massage therapy, announced its rebranding to Therabody. Theragun and TheraOne, their new CBD line, will now live under Therabody.
- Beau Guyett Walks To Raise Awareness For The Unemployedon May 7, 2020 at 9:15 pm
Beau Guyott stops in Orlando en route to Tallahassee to raise awareness about the state's unemployed. Photo courtesy of Matt Hinckley, Hinckley Fancy Meats. When Beau Guyott lost his job in ...
- Smart bus route opens in central Chinaon May 6, 2020 at 12:12 am
A smart line ensuring bus priority by controlling the duration of traffic lights opened last week in Changsha, the capital city of central China's Hunan province. The 15-km line 315, with 10 buses and ...
- Self-driving taxi service promotes smart travelon May 5, 2020 at 11:59 pm
Liu Xinlin, 22, experienced her first ride in a self-driving taxi in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province. "The taxi drove very smoothly by itself, and the safety supervisor and ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Dangote Cement donates patrol cars to Ogunon May 10, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Femi AsuDangote Cement Plc announced on Sunday that it had donated 25 operational cars, fully equipped with security features, to the Ogun Security Trust Fund.The firm said in a statement that the ...
- Self-Driving Cars Are Taking Longer to Build Than Everyone Thoughton May 10, 2020 at 8:08 am
In 2018, in what now looks like an inflection point in the development of autonomous vehicles, a self-driving Uber test vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. In the wake of that ...
- Waymo self-driving cars hit the road again in Phoenixon May 8, 2020 at 1:00 pm
Waymo paused its operations back in March as the coronavirus pandemic began to take shape. Those residing in the metro Phoenix area will once again start to see Waymo's self-driving vehicles hitting ...
- Waymo puts its self-driving cars back on Arizona roads as lockdown is easedon May 7, 2020 at 10:15 pm
As Arizona plans to gradually ease its lockdown rules, Waymo is planning to return its self-driving cars to the streets of Phoenix on Monday, May 11.
- Volvo Cars Will Use Luminar's Lidar to Enable Highway Self-Driving in 2022on May 6, 2020 at 2:24 pm
Swedish automaker Volvo Cars said that it will add lidar sensors and new perception technology from Silicon Valley start-up Luminar to some of its models starting in 2022. Luminar's lidar technology ...