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Road Design Criteria and Capacity Estimation Based on Autonomous Vehicles Performances. First Results from the European C-Roads Platform and A22 Motorway

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Several European road operators and authorities joined the C-Roads Platform with the aim of harmonising the deployment activities of cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS). C-ITS research is preliminary to future automated-driving vehicles. The current conventional highways were designed on traditional criteria and models specifically developed for traffic flows of manually guided vehicles. Thus, this article describes some new criteria for designing and monitoring road infrastructures on the basis of performance features of autonomous (or self-driving) vehicles.

The new criteria have been adopted to perform an accurate conformity control of the A22 Brenner motorway, included in the C-Roads Platform, and also to ascertain whether in future it may be travelled by automated vehicles in safety conditions. Always in accordance with the technical and scientific insights required by the C-Roads Platform, a traffic model has been implemented to estimate how the A22 capacity increases compared to current values, by taking various percentages of automated or manual vehicles into consideration. The results given by theoretical models indicate that the highway will be able to be travelled by automated vehicles in safety conditions. On the other hand, the lane capacity is due to increase up to 2.5 times more than the current capacities, experimentally determined through traffic data collected from 4 highway sections by means of Drake’s flow model.

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Engineering, Introductions and Overviews, other