Investigation of the effect of autonomous vehicles (AV) on the capacity of an urban transport network
In this paper, we assess the effects of different shares of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on the traffic flow and, in particular, on the maximum possible capacity at signal-controlled intersections. For this purpose, all signal-controlled nodes in the traffic network of the Düsseldorf metropolitan area were systematically simulated and evaluated using the microscopic traffic simulation tool SUMO.
The analysis shows that defensively parameterized AVs – as envisaged in the umbrella project of this research – may decrease the maximum possible traffic at signal-controlled intersections. Moreover, the simulation runs indicate that capacity at these intersections decreases almost linearly with a growing share of AV. In a second part of this analysis, a freeway section was simulated with the same varying shares of CV and AV to investigate free-flow traffic. In this case, the simulation results of the maximum traffic flow can be approximated by a third-order polynomial fit. The minimum capacity is found for the uniform share of both vehicle types (i.e. 50 % AV and 50 % CV).
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