The effect of a mixed-capability vehicular fleet on Vulnerable Road User safety

Title The effect of a mixed-capability vehicular fleet on Vulnerable Road User safety
Summary Investigation of the effect of different levels of connection, cooperation, and automation (e.g., local awareness, collective perception, statistics) on road safety and traffic efficiency for future mobility scenarios including pedestrians and cyclists.
Prerequisites Programming (C++); Statistics
Supervisor Elena Haller, Oscar Amador Molina
Level Master
Status Open

The purpose for the project is to further progress in Cooperative, Connected, and Automated Mobility (CCAM) technologies deploying and thus addressing Vision Zero mission. For CCAM, the road to Vision Zero is divided in four phases called and the present project is aimed towards Day 4, when Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) will coordinate their maneuvers. While it is expected that CAVs become pervasive, multimodal road users (MRUs), such as pedestrians, bicycles, non-connected legacy cars might obstruct the convergence towards an optimal performance.

At a first glance, market behavior and technology penetration level make us find some very plausible scenarios in future mobility:

- All involved road users are connected and using the same protocols (e.g., an isolated platoon on a road segment).

- Coexistence between optimized and non-optimized protocols (e.g., connected vehicles using different releases of a protocol).

- Cooperative and non-cooperative automated vehicles on the same road segment (e.g., some automated vehicles without V2X capabilities sharing the road with V2X-enabled vehicles) MRUs coexisting with CAVs.

Results from our previous and current work show that: 1) even when technology and behavior are harmonized, convergence in rapidly changing situations is challenging, and 2) when technology is not harmonized, e.g., coexistence of older and newer versions of a protocol stack, efficiency does not grow proportionally with the ratio of vehicles executing newer, optimized protocols.

Using vehicle networking simulations, we will perform an experimental evaluation of a simple scenario with a non-connected pedestrian crossing a road where CAVs and non-CAVs coexist. The variables will be:

• Different ratios of cooperative vehicles and multimodal road users

• Level of information available (e.g., cooperative messages, road risk statistics)

Initially, our performance metrics will be road safety (e.g., number of accidents or emergency break maneuvers), and traffic efficiency (e.g., trip or maneuver time).