Potentials and Implications of Dedicated Highway Lanes for Autonomous Vehicles

by   Jordan Ivanchev, et al.

The introduction of autonomous vehicles (AVs) will have far-reaching effects on road traffic in cities and on highways.The implementation of automated highway system (AHS), possibly with a dedicated lane only for AVs, is believed to be a requirement to maximise the benefit from the advantages of AVs. We study the ramifications of an increasing percentage of AVs on the traffic system with and without the introduction of a dedicated AV lane on highways. We conduct an analytical evaluation of a simplified scenario and a macroscopic simulation of the city of Singapore under user equilibrium conditions with a realistic traffic demand. We present findings regarding average travel time, fuel consumption, throughput and road usage. Instead of only considering the highways, we also focus on the effects on the remaining road network. Our results show a reduction of average travel time and fuel consumption as a result of increasing the portion of AVs in the system. We show that the introduction of an AV lane is not beneficial in terms of average commute time. Examining the effects of the AV population only, however, the AV lane provides a considerable reduction of travel time (approx. 25 conventional vehicles (approx. 7 demand away from the highways towards major and small roads is noticed in early stages of AV penetration of the system. Finally, our findings show that after a certain threshold percentage of AVs the differences between AV and no AV lane scenarios become negligible.


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