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Improving Urban Traffic Throughput with Vehicle Platooning Theory and Experiments

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: In this paper we present a model-predictive control (MPC) based approach forvehicle platooning in an urban traffic setting. Our primary goal is todemonstrate that vehicle platooning has the potential to significantly increasethroughput at intersections, which can create bottlenecks in the traffic flow.To do so, our approach relies on vehicle connectivity: vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V)and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication. In particular, we introducea customized V2V message set which features a velocity forecast, i.e. aprediction on the future velocity trajectory, which enables platooning vehiclesto accurately maintain short following distances, thereby increasingthroughput. Furthermore, V2I communication allows platoons to react immediatelyto changes in the state of nearby traffic lights, e.g. when the traffic phasebecomes green, enabling additional gains in traffic efficiency. We present ourdesign of the vehicle platooning system, and then evaluate performance byestimating the potential gains in terms of throughput using our results fromsimulation, as well as experiments conducted with real test vehicles on aclosed track. Lastly, we briefly overview our demonstration of vehicleplatooning on public roadways in Arcadia, CA.

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