Impact of Autonomous-Vehicle-Only Lanes in Mixed Traffic Conditions

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The introduction of autonomous vehicles (AVs) in the near future will have a significant impact on road traffic. AVs may have advantages in efficiency and convenience, but safety can be compromised in mixed operations of manual vehicles and AVs. To deal with the issues associated with mixed traffic and to avoid its negative effects, a special purpose lane reserved for AVs can be proposed to segregate AVs from manual vehicles. In this research, we analyze the effect on efficiency and safety of AVs in mixed traffic and in a situation where an AV-only lane is deployed. In the analysis, we investigate the average speed, the throughput, and the inverse time-to-collision (ITTC). We differentiate the behaviors of manual vehicles and AVs through the reaction time, desired speed, and car-following models. As a result, we observe that the efficiency is improved when the market penetration rate of AVs increases, especially when the highway throughput increases by up to 84% in the case of mixed traffic. However, safety worsens when the market penetration of AVs is under 40%. In this case, the average speed can be improved and the frequency of dangerous situations (ITTC > 0.49) can be reduced drastically in the merging section by making the innermost lane AV-only. Accordingly, we conclude that AV-only lanes can have a significant positive impact on efficiency and safety when the market penetration rate of AVs is low.
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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD, v.2673, no.9, pp.430 - 439

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CE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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