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Impact of Disturbances on Mixed Traffic Control with Autonomous Vehicles

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Document pages: 6 pages

Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of disturbances on controlling anautonomous vehicle to smooth mixed traffic flow in a ring road setup. Byexploiting the ring structure of this system, it is shown that velocityperturbations impacting any vehicle on the ring enter an uncontrollable andmarginally stable mode defined by the sum of relative vehicle spacings. Thesedisturbances are then integrated up by the system and cannot be unwound viacontrolling the autonomous vehicle. In particular, if the velocity disturbancesare zero-mean Gaussians, then the traffic flow on the ring will undergo arandom walk with the variance growing indefinitely and independently of thecontrol policy applied. In contrast, the impact of acceleration disturbances isbenign as these disturbances do no enter the uncontrollable mode, meaning thatthey can be easily regulated using the autonomous vehicle. Our results supportand complement the existing theoretic analysis and field experiments.

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