connected vehicles

Scientists with the Urban Dynamics Institute (UDI) at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US are developing a computational framework for connected vehicle technologies in a bid to cut down travel time and fuel consumption for drivers.

The new framework is expected to aid vehicle-to-vehicle communication, as well as communication between vehicles and traffic controls such as traffic lights.

UDI deputy director and principal investigator of the project Andreas Malikopoulos said: "By telling drivers the optimal speed, the best lane to drive in, or the best route to take, we can eliminate stop-and-go driving and improve safety.

"As a driver, you may get additional instructions suggesting you change lanes or follow a different path that may not be the route your GPS would give you to avoid congestion."

"We’ll validate our framework through simulation."

Decentralised control algorithms that direct the way vehicles initially communicate locally among vehicles interacting directly on the road will be developed by the project team.

Malikopoulos adds: "The first phase is an exploratory project. We’ll validate our framework through simulation."

The project will connect the team’s communication framework with a transportation analysis simulation system in the second phase.

Data analytics will be used by the system to simulate traffic conditions in real urban areas to predict congestion.

Simulations will help forecast and plan traffic flow based on large-scale data, such as the layout and population distribution of the area that reflects driver activities.

Destinations and schedules of the connected vehicles in the simulation can also be planned.

Simulations in the second phase will allow the team to begin exploring questions with regard to cyber security and possible incentives for drivers to follow connected vehicle instructions, such as digital ticketing.

The ORNL Laboratory Directed Research and Development programme is providing funding for the research.

Image: Visualisation of an ORNL-connected vehicles simulations using decentralised control algorithms. Photo: courtesy of Andreas Malikopoulos.