Phantom Traffic Jams from Adaptive Cruise Controlled Vehicles


Abstract: This project is motivated by the possibility of a small number of autonomous vehicles (AVs) that may soon be present on our roads, and how these vehicles will influence the traffic flow. Specifically, driver assist technologies (often referred to as Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) level 1 AVs) are already becoming standard features on many vehicles. However, it is still unclear to what extent driver assist features such as adaptive cruise control (ACC) will influence traffic stability.

In this poster, we present experimental results that assess the string stability of commercially-available ACC systems. Data from vehicles is collected to understand the response of an ACC-equipped vehicle to the behavior of a lead vehicle, and models for the ACC-vehicle behavior are learned, which are analyzed for stability.

This work is part of a larger project to understand how a small number of AVs in the traffic flow may be capable of affecting traffic stability, and controlling traffic flow to eliminate phantom traffic jams. 

Explanation of Demonstration: In this demo we will present video footage of a set of recent experiments to test the string stability of adaptive cruise control vehicles. This includes experiments with platoons of up to 8 vehicles to observe the growth of traffic waves due to the lead vehicle's behavior.

License: CC-2.5
Submitted by Daniel Work on