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A numerical study on constant spacing policies for starting platoons at oversaturated intersections

Massow, Kay; Radusch, Ilja; Shorten, Robert

Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) is considered as a key potential enabler to improve driving safety and traffic efficiency. It allows for automated vehicle following using wireless communication in addition to onboard sensors. To achieve string stability in CACC platoons, constant time gap (CTG) spacing policies have prevailed in research; namely, vehicle interspacing grows with the speed. While constant distance gap (CDG) spacing policies provide superior potential to increase traffic capacity than CTG, their major drawbacks are a smaller safety margin at high velocities and that string stability cannot be achieved using a one-vehicle look-ahead communication. In this work, we propose to apply CDG only in a few driving situations, when traffic throughput is of highest importance and safety requirements can be met due to relatively low velocities. As the most relevant situations where CDG could be applied, we identify starting platoons at signalized intersections. With this application scenario we show that applying CDG only in a few specific and crucial situation can have a major impact on traffic efficiency. Specifically, we compare CTG with CDG regarding its potential to increase the capacity of traffic lights. Starting with the elementary situation of single traffic lights we expand our scope to whole traffic networks including several thousand vehicles in simulation. Using real world data to calibrate and validate vehicle dynamics simulation and traffic simulation, the study discusses the most relevant working parameters of CDG, CTG, and the traffic system in which both are applied.
Published in: IEEE access, 10.1109/ACCESS.2022.3167424, IEEE