A New Traffic Paradigm and Related Opportunities in the CAV Era
Time: Tuesday, May 11: 11am-12:pm Zoom link
Technical University of Crete | School of Production Engineering and Management
The ERC Advanced Grant TrafficFluid (2019-2024) launches a novel paradigm for vehicular traffic in the era of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs), which is based on two combined principles. The first principle is lanefree traffic, which renders the driving task for CAVs smoother and safer, as risky lane-changing manoeuvres become obsolete; it also increases the capacity of the roadway due to increased road occupancy and mitigates congestion-triggering vehicle manoeuvres. The second principle is vehicle nudging, whereby vehicles may "push" other vehicles in front of them; this allows for traffic flow to be freed from the anisotropy restriction, which stems from the fact that human driving is influenced only by downstream vehicles. Vehicle nudging may be implemented in various ways so as to maximize the traffic flow efficiency, subject to safety and convenience constraints.
Lane-free CAV traffic implies that incremental road widening (narrowing) leads to corresponding incremental increase (decrease) of capacity. This opens the way for consideration of real-time internal boundary control on highways and arterials, in order to flexibly share the total (both directions) road width and capacity among the two directions in dependence of the bi-directional demand and traffic conditions, so as to maximize the total (two directions) flow efficiency. The problem is formulated as a convex QP (Quadratic Programming) problem, and representative case studies shed light on and demonstrate the features, capabilities and potential of the novel control action.