With autonomous vehicles likely to one-day make their debut on the nation’s roadways—possibly as early as within the next decade—researchers are already thinking about how these vehicles might assist with traffic flow and fuel consumption.
One such research collaboration, with Temple Assistant Professor of Mathematics Benjamin Seibold as the principal investigator, has just been awarded a three-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Computer and Network Systems.
“For the purpose of our research project, autonomous vehicles, are those that conduct their velocity control—car-following, acceleration and deceleration—in an automated fashion,” said Seibold. “These vehicles collect a lot of data about the environment around them in order to operate safely, and in principle, these data can be communicated from one vehicle to another.”
Seibold’s research involves traffic flow modeling, particularly “phantom” traffic jams or “jamitons.” He said that by synchronizing autonomous vehicles so that they can communicate and share certain types of information--such as traffic density and flow velocity--with each other, the vehicles could react in a way that alters the flow of traffic on the highway.
“Traffic that’s about to run into a jam could be slowed down by these autonomous vehicles in a subtle way, perhaps maybe just two miles an hour under the speed limit, so that it’s not a big nuisance to the rest of the drivers,” he said. “This could, for example, help dissipate stop-and-go waves in the traffic flow, and prevent prolonging the traffic jam ahead.”
He said that the information could even be communicated to drivers of non-autonomous vehicles to use at their discretion to alter their driving behavior, such as voluntarily slowing down or seeking out alternative routes.
Seibold, who is also a member of Temple’s applied mathematics and scientific computing group, stressed that the autonomous vehicles could also help reduce the fuel consumption of all of the vehicles around them. With autonomous vehicles keeping the traffic flow at a controlled velocity or reducing the speed of traffic to avoid prolonged traffic jams, all of the cars on the road will use less gasoline.
“If you consider the amount of fuel that is wasted every day because of people being stuck in traffic or having to drive at an unsteady velocity due to unpredictable driving behaviors, being able to reduce that consumption by as much as .1 percent would have a tremendous economic and environmental impact,” he said.
In addition to Seibold, collaborators include the University of Arizona, which has an autonomous vehicle test bed; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which will contribute expertise in forecasting and nowcasting of traffic flow; and Rutgers University-Camden, which will bring experience in different types of traffic modeling.
Science & Technology Writer
Preston Moretz | newswise
Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH
New algorithm for optimized stability of planar-rod objects
11.08.2016 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine