Evaluating System Impacts of Automated Vehicles: A Multiple-Resolution Modeling Approach

The rapid development of automated vehicles has attracted a lot of attentions from the public in recent years.  Current studies on automated vehicles mainly focus on microscopic simulations with simple network topologies and driver behaviors, and few has considered to incorporate automated vehicles into macroscopic travel demand models for the analysis in a regional network.  


In this project, we propose an Automated Vehicle System Impacts Evaluation Module, AVSIEM, for both transportation and traffic operation analysis using a two-step multi-resolution modeling approach.  The approach involves the use of microsimulation to quantify the capacity improvement through a capacity adjustment factor (CAF), which is then applied in the macroscopic travel demand model to evaluate AVs' impacts on regional networks. To implement the approach, an integrated car-following and car-control model was developed to model the mixed traffic flow with human driving vehicles and AVs. The car-following model parameters of the integrated model were calibrated using vehicle trajectory data from the NGSIM datasets. 


The proposed approach was successfully demonstrated for its effectiveness on evaluating AVs' performance through microsimulation and AVs' impacts in a regional network through macroscopic travel demand modeling. Based on the potential market needs, the products that will be developed for the study will include: 1) microscopic traffic simulation plugins to model AVs; 2) travel demand modeling plugin to evaluate the impacts of AVs; and 3) customizable CAF lookup table to work with local travel demand models. Commercial analysis shows that the products and services from the study can address urgent market needs from federal and state government agencies as well as the private sectors.



Sponsor: USDOT/RITA/Volpe Center

Project Time Period: September 2015 - Mar 2016 (Phase I)