Cooperative Car-Following and Merging: A Novel Merge Control Strategy Considering Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control and Courtesy
This study focuses on how to improve the merge control prior to lane reduction points due to either accidents or constructions. A Cooperative Car-following and Merging (CCM) control strategy is proposed considering the coexistence of Automated Vehicles (AVs) and Human-4 Driven Vehicles (HDVs). CCM introduces a modified/generalized Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) for vehicle longitudinal control prior to lane reduction points. It also takes courtesy into account to ensure that AVs behave responsibly and ethically. CCM is evaluated using microscopic traffic simulation and compared with no control and CACC merge strategies. The results show that CCM consistently generates the lowest delays and highest throughputs approaching the theoretical capacity. Its safety benefits are also found to be significant based on vehicle trajectories and density maps. AVs in this study do not need to be fully automated and can be at Level-1 automation. CCM only requires automated longitudinal control such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and information sharing among vehicles, and ACC is already commercially available on many new vehicles. Also, it does not need 100% ACC penetration, presenting itself as a promising and practical solution for improving traffic operations in lane reduction transition areas such as highway work zones.