Title: Highlights of Lane-Free Automated Vehicle Traffic with Nudging
Abstract: A novel paradigm (named TrafficFluid) for vehicular traffic in the era of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) was recently proposed, which is based on two combined principles. The first principle is lane-free traffic, which renders the driving task for CAVs smoother and safer, as risky lane-changing manoeuvres become obsolete; increases the capacity of the roadway due to increased road occupancy; and mitigates congestion-triggering vehicle manoeuvres. Also, lane-free CAV traffic implies that incremental road widening (narrowing) leads to corresponding incremental increase (decrease) of capacity, and this opens the way for real-time internal boundary control on highways and arterials to flexibly share the total (both directions) road width and capacity among the two traffic directions in dependence of the bi- directional traffic conditions, so as to maximize the total system efficiency. The second principle is vehicle nudging, whereby vehicles may be influencing other vehicles in front of them; this allows for traffic flow to be freed from the anisotropy restriction, which stems from the fact that human driving is influenced only by downstream vehicles. Nudging leads to improved traffic flow capacity and stability.
After presenting the TrafficFluid motivation and general features, some highlights of related work will be outlined, such as: Nonlinear feedback control of CAV in lane-free traffic with nudging; Optimal path planning for individual vehicles and vehicle groups; Emerging macroscopic traffic flow modelling; Internal boundary control; Driving on large-scale lane-free roundabouts (Place Charles de Gaulle in Paris).
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