Optimal and Robust Control of Vehicle Platooning on Signalized Arterial with Significant Freight Traffic

Optimal and Robust Control of Vehicle Platooning on Signalized Arterial with Significant Freight Traffic
Yunlong Zhang, Ph.D. (PI)
Professor, ZACHRY Department of Civil Engineering
Texas A&M University

Proposal Summary and Objectives

Significant freight traffic affects the performance of the whole transportation network in a more sensitive and significant way compared to other traffic in the aspects of mobility, environment, and safety. Trucks need extra distance and time for deceleration and acceleration, and their interactions with other types of vehicles can cause more non-uniformity to the traffic due to their lengths and speeds. Therefore, slowdown and bottleneck appear more easily at a segment where freight traffic is significant. It has been shown in the research of FMRI first-year project that the coordination of signals often fails when the demand is composed of a large portion of trucks. Strategies have been developed in FMRI second-year project to formulate multiple trucks trajectories to pass consecutive signals individually and cooperatively considering mixed traffic conditions. However, a crucial problem still remains: significant truck traffic presents the opportunities for truck platooning. However, since trucks are controlled to formulate platoons to improve mobility, the stability problem exists in the process of platoon evolving when a platoon is approaching a signalized intersection, or when the platoon is merging or splitting. The safety should be ensured in these dynamic processes and the ability to resist disturbance or interruptions should be considered. Thus, a stability analysis is needed for each platooning scenario and a robust control design is applied to ensure the applicability and safety of all those control strategies. This is a necessary and crucial topic for traffic control and operation under significant freight traffic. In the first step of this research, a stability analysis between dynamic trajectories of different vehicles under different scenarios will be investigated. The stability in the process such as truck platooning approaching a signalized intersection, merging, and splitting will be analyzed. In the next step, truck platoon evolving strategies over the signalized corridor will be designed with robustness and optimality to ensure the stability of the platooning processes, with signal control for better mobility as part of the consideration. The expected outputs will be suitable control parameters for different platooning scenarios and an optimal and robust controller for the corridor considering truck platooning and signal control.

Funding Amount: $70,000
Status: Active
Duration: Sep 1, 2019 - Jul 30, 2020