Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Driverless vehicles expected to navigate intersection of safety, speed

Date:
December 4, 2012
Source:
Virginia Tech
Summary:
A step-by-step procedure, or algorithm, for managing driver-less vehicles through intersections is described in new research.

How do driverless vehicles navigate through intersections? Faster and safer than if humans were in charge, according to researchers from the Virginia Tech Transportation Research.

Autonomous vehicles will turn themselves over to an automated intersection controller, which will allow the vehicles to move at the speed limit, with the controller tweaking their trajectory to prevent crashes, explained Ismail Zohdy of Cairo, Egypt, a Ph.D. student in civil engineering at Virginia Tech, and Hesham Rakha, director of the Center for Sustainable Mobility at the transportation institute and professor of civil engineering at the university.

Their research on Optimizing Driverless Vehicles at Intersections, presented at the Intelligent Transportation Society World Congress in Vienna, won the Best Scientific Paper Award for North America. ITS also stands for intelligent transportation systems.

"The paper develops a step-by-step procedure, or algorithm, for managing driverless vehicles through intersections," said Zohdy. "The proposed system considers the vehicles' location, speed, and acceleration plus the surrounding environment, such as weather and intersection characteristics."

"The proposed intersection controller, which allows vehicles to keep moving, reduces the delay for each vehicle compared to traditional intersection control," said Rakha. "Keeping vehicles moving is also more fuel efficient and reduces emissions."

But, with driver behavior considered to be the leading cause of more than 90 percent of accidents, safety is the primary motivation for driverless vehicles. "Somewhere in the future, you will not be driving your car anymore; you will be driven by your car," said Zohdy. "A driverless vehicle can much more accurately judge distances and velocities, and react instantly to situations that could cause an accident due to a delayed human reaction."

"We are not talking about the distant future," said Rakha. A May 5, 2011, article in the New York Times reported that after the successful test of the Google driverless vehicle, Nevada passed a law that could let self-driving cars on the road as soon as March 1, 2012. This provided the motivation for Zohdy's work on developing innovative optimization algorithms for controlling such vehicles, and the Intelligent Transportation Society's interest.

"Intelligent transportation systems are an interaction of many complex entities that communicate with each other, such as vehicles, traffic signals, and advisory signs. Driverless vehicles would be capable of interacting with these other entities," said Zohdy.

"Many such intelligent systems already exist, such as dynamic routing and congestion management, and intelligent traffic control," said Rakha. "Autonomous vehicles are inspired by the research done on robotic control."

In Zohdy and Rakha's research, the intersection controller governs the vehicles within 200 meters (218.7 yards) from the intersection. The vehicles report their physical characteristics, such as power, mass, speed, location, and acceleration. "The aim of giving complete authority to the controller is to overcome any selfish behavior by an autonomous vehicle and benefit all vehicles in the intersection zone," said Zohdy. "The controller determines the optimum speed and acceleration at each time step for every vehicle within the intersection zone by processing the input data through a real-time simulator/tool, as shown using YouTube."

The research was done based on a four-way intersection with one vehicle entering from each direction and moving straight through. It has since been expanded and tested on more congested intersections involving not fully deployed systems and comparing this type of control to traffic signal and roundabout control. "We were testing it if only 10 percent of the vehicles were automated and the other 90 percent were regular vehicles with driver control. We varied the level of automation from 10 to 100 percent at 10 percent increments," said Rakha. This effort has resulted in two papers that will be presented that the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in January 2013.

Zohdy and Rakha will also be testing their system on a roundabout on the Virginia Tech campus as part of the Connected Vehicle/Infrastructure University Transportation Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Tech. "Driverless vehicles expected to navigate intersection of safety, speed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145559.htm>.
Virginia Tech. (2012, December 4). Driverless vehicles expected to navigate intersection of safety, speed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145559.htm
Virginia Tech. "Driverless vehicles expected to navigate intersection of safety, speed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145559.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins