George Washington University (November 10, 2015): How will vehicle-to-vehicle communication impact your commute? Our speaker, Dr. Samer Hamdar, an assistant professor at the George Washington University (GWU) and the Director of the Center of Intelligent Systems Research (CISR – www.cisr.gwu.edu), provided a research-based perspective to this question.
With billions of vehicle miles traveled annually in the U.S alone, significant improvements associated with traffic mobility and safety are needed. Such improvements are represented by an increase in traffic stability and a reduction in congestion. Interactions between individual drivers and errors in the driving decision making processes have been previously identified as major contributors to unsafe and unstable traffic conditions. Two main avenues that reduce/remove human error from the driving experience are being pursued.
Autonomous vehicles use sensing technology to take on the burden of driving, while connected vehicles incorporate vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication to obtain and share information that can allow the driver/vehicle to make better driving decisions.
After presenting existing applications of connected vehicle (CV) technologies as foreseen by the Federal Highway Administration, shared the findings of his research that models the traffic stability of different market penetration rates (MPRs) of connected and autonomous vehicles with focus on car-following and lane-changing maneuvers. The results show an increase in roadway capacity and an improvement in traffic stability as the MPR and the CV level of control increase. However, the greatest benefit comes when all vehicles on the road are autonomous with no human drivers!