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Research Projects

Traffic congestion mitigation using connected vehicles

Automated vehicles vs. Phantom traffic jams

Senior investigator: Kshitij Jerath

Junior investigator: Taehooie Kim

Formation of self-organized vehicle clusters or phantom traffic jams is known to occur when the vehicular density exceeds a certain threshold, known as the critical density. In the absence of an external cause, one of the few ways of alleviating congestion is by changing the system internally, i.e., by modifying driver behavior. This project examines how connected autonomous vehicles in traffic flow can be leveraged to serve this purpose. We have analyzed congestion-aware CACC algorithms that responds to existing downstream congestion on the roadway, and examined the impact of such CACC-enabled vehicles on congestion for various penetration rates in a traffic system where such vehicles are randomly interspersed. Equally as importantly. we answer an important question that remains unanswered: where are the most impactful locations to disseminate information for connected vehicles in order to change traffic flow outcomes? We have developed the notion of zones of influence of connected vehicles, as well as null and event horizons, to move our understanding forward.
Rescaled models retain traffic behavior.png

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