What, if any, consortia has been established to handle traffic from Autonomous Vehicles?

Part
01
of one
Part
01

What, if any, consortia has been established to handle traffic from Autonomous Vehicles?

While there are not many consortia that are solely focused on the autonomous vehicle (AV) traffic management, there are organizations that are dedicating resources to combat this growing challenge. The bulk of these organizations were established prior to the development of autonomous vehicles traffic management. The CVUTM testbed is a consortium helmed by Infosys that was created to manage AV traffic. AIM and Carmenta are the only companies that were established for the purpose of addressing autonomous vehicles.

Typically, a Wonder request consists of information from recent sources that are from within a 2-year time frame. However, due to the limited available information on this topic, some relevant sources were included that are from outside this time frame. Below is a detailed summary of the aforementioned companies as well the organizations that are making an effort to meet the demand for AV traffic management.

FOCUSED ON AV TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

AUTONOMUS INTERSECTION MANAGEMENT (AIM)

AIM was established with the goal of creating a "scalable, safe, and efficient multiagent framework for managing autonomous vehicles at intersections." Currently, the traffic system is built for cars that are manned by humans. Their goal is to build intersections, signs, and traffic lights that are designed for the computers that will be operating AVs instead of humans. Aim is building an efficient solution for when the road is entirely made up of AVs. However, they expect that there will be a long transition period where AVs and Non-AVs manned by humans will coexist on the road. To address this transition time period, they have developed the "Hybrid AIM protocol." This allows these cars to navigate the road alongside human-run cars and even includes a feature where AVs can bypass red lights if they have a reservation.


CARMENTA

This company offers software solutions for optimal AV traffic management. Their "command and control (C2) cloud system for autonomous and connected vehicles acts as an invisible traffic network supervisor." It works consistently to maintain the safety of connected vehicles by monitoring aspects like "situational awareness, through a combination of sensor data and uninterrupted analysis of the vehicle’s physical environment." This enables the system to continuously send information as well as commands to AVs.

Consortium working on AV traffic management

CONNECTED VEHICLE URBAN TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT (CVUTM) TESTBED

The CVUTM testbed consortium exists under the umbrella of the Industrial Internet Consortium. The testbed is designed to develop a "smart road traffic ecosystem." This ecosystem consists of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), industrial IoT platforms, cloud infrastructure, sensor fusion, and edge analytics. The goal of the testbed is to prevent congestion on the road and to increase the safety level for both AV and Non-AV motorists as well as pedestrians. The companies involved in this endeavor are Bosch Software Innovations, Real-Time Innovations (RTI), Microsoft, and, the leading company, Infosys.

Conferences ON AV TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

ENO

The Eno Center for Transportation was not created specifically to address AV traffic management, however, it now focuses on how AVs will impact traffic. Instead, Eno was formed to function as a "neutral, non-partisan think-tank that promotes policy innovation and leads
professional development in the transportation industry." The organization also prioritizes transportation sustainability and safety.

Each year, this company hosts the Eno Leadership Development Conference. At the conference, a selection of the "top graduate students in transportation and related disciplines" meet together in Washington, D.C. for an introduction on "how transportation policy
and programs are formed." These graduates meet with leaders from the U.S. Department of Transportation as well as other key individuals in the transportation field.

In the company's 2013 report, they highlight the new opportunities and barriers created by AVs as well as policy recommendations. At the time of this report, Eno recognized the potential future impact of AV traffic on Americans in 2020. In this report, AVs are assumed to be "equipped with CACC and traffic-flow-smoothing capabilities." AVs were noted as having a 10% level of market penetration. This was projected to result in a 15% decrease in freeway congestion for all types of vehicles. The main reason cited for this decrease is a reduction in bottlenecks and the smoother flow of traffic. However, Atiyeh's projections dispute these figures. Atiyeh projected a 39% congestion improvements, a 50% market penetration level, and 20% capacity enhancements.

The conference report also suggested that at the "arterial-roadway level" AV would have less of an impact on congestion at only 5% at 10% market penetration. This statistic increases to 10% at 50% market penetration, and then 15% at the 90% penetration rate. This is due to the fact that the source of delays like pedestrians, conflicting turns, and more, are factors that AV couldn't easily address.

In terms of fuel, AVs are expected to benefit Non-AVs through the use of optimal drive cycles, and better route choices that result in less congestion. On freeways, Non-AVs are expected to experience 8% "fuel economy benefits during congested times" of the day at under a 10% market penetration. 13% fuel economy benefits are expected to start at the 50% and 90% market penetration levels. The introduction of each new AV on the road is expected to result in parking savings equal to $250. This is largely a result of car sharing.

These detailed figures on how AV will impact that streetscape and Non-AVs indicates that it likely that as AVs become more popular and are a part of daily life, Eno and it's conference will likely shift their focus more toward managing this type of traffic. This, however, is not confirmed.


ITS WORLD CONGRESS

The ITS World Congress has listed AVs as one of their main topics for 2018. At the event, held in Copenhagen, experts will offer solutions and share results on the latest technological advancements, including AV. ITS considers the long-term benefits of AV to be the comfort, accessibility to transportation, improved safety, better traffic flow, reduced emissions, and fuel use. However, the issue of "highly connected and automated vehicles" possibly increasing congestion and the demand for road capacity is also mentioned. The congress also poses questions about "which business models will drive deployment" in the private, public and mixed sectors and how will the mix of AVs and Non-AVs be managed.

AV traffic safety organization

NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ASSOCIATION (NHTSA)

AV is not the focus of the NHTSA due to the fact that it was established prior the creation of AVs. However, according to their research, "94 percent of serious crashes are due to dangerous choices or errors people make behind the wheel." The NHTSA suggests the use of driver assistance technology in order to prevent these accidents. As these technologies continue to develop the NHTSA is committed to supporting its advancement on the road toward cars that are fully automated. NHTSA cited that AVs could result in an extra "50 minutes each day that had previously been dedicated to driving." This would decrease the estimated "6.9 billion hours" Americans spent in traffic delays in 2014. Traffic safety is already a high priority for NHTSA and their commitment to AV research and development will likely shift to managing AV traffic flow once there are more AVs on the road. This would ensure safe interaction with AVs and Non-AVs.

BOARD/CoMPANY workING on AV traffic solutions

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD (TRB)

The TRB was established prior to the development of AVs but they have begun to make an effort to focus on AV traffic management in anticipation of their increased prominence. Reinventing traffic networks in order to improve efficiency will become a priority. One of the suggestions they put forth in order to manage AVs is the "dynamic lane reversal, in which the network operator makes use of AV communications and behavior to change the direction of flow on a road link." This would allow for changes to be made in shorter intervals than are currently possible with human-run cars.


SIEMENS

Siemens's is working on AV solutions where "rules of the road, traffic signals, and road signs will be digitally transmitted to each vehicle." This will be possible through a combination of real-time traffic data, infrastructure, and onboard computing. A lot of the work is expected to be conducted in a research capacity but they anticipate that at some point soon, that will change and the AV model will be highly disruptive to the industry. One way they expect AV to impact the road is the addition of autonomous buses and minibuses. These additions will make public transport cost-effective and sustainable while reducing cars on the road. Siemens is also working with the "Singapore city administration and Deutsche Bahn (German railways)" on using AVs to transport people to and from trains and subways. They've also suggested using self-driving cars to replace taxis and transport children to and from school.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the CVUTM testbed was designed to create solutions for AV traffic management. This consortium is led by Infosys and was developed under the umbrella of the Industrial Internet Consortium. AIM and Carmenta are the only companies made for the purpose of addressing AV traffic management. The former was made to manage roads that entirely consist of AVs and the latter is a software company built to function as an "invisible traffic network supervisor." ITS World Congress, Eno, NHTSA, Siemens, and TRB, were established before the invention of AVs, however, they are now all working toward managing AV traffic.
Sources
Sources