Autonomous Vehicles, Platooning and Traffic Flow Control for Connected Vehicles

Course Description

The purpose of the short course is to introduce the concepts of autonomous vehicles and platooning and associated designs and analysis with emphasis on safety. In addition connectivity will enable the infrastructure to control traffic flow in a much more efficient way. Vehicle automation has been viewed as a solution that will lead to dramatic improvements in safety, road capacity and driver comfort. An autonomous vehicle with its multiple sensors and computer control system will be able to interact with the environment and other vehicles more accurately and react faster than humans to different driving situations including emergencies. At the same time autonomous vehicles will be designed to operate in a much safer way than human drivers and therefore will be much more conservative in changing lanes, merging and in vehicle maneuvers. While this may have an adverse effect on traffic flow the connectivity that comes with autonomous vehicles offers an opportunity for the infrastructure to come up with better traffic flow control methods.

Course Format

Powerpoint lectures visual and with audio together with supporting publications

Teaching Concepts

Safety, modeling of dynamical systems, feedback control designs

Course Content

  • Vehicle following
  • Safe spacing policies for vehicle following
  • Time headway versus fixed spacing
  • String stability
  • Platooning for cars and trucks
  • Safe lane change and merging analysis
  • Capacity analysis
  • Adaptive Cruise Control Systems
  • Lane Change Control
  • Variable speed limit control
  • Ramp metering
  • Combined LC, VSL and RM control
  • Traffic Light Control with priority to heavy vehicles