Impacts of gradual automated vehicle penetration on motorway operation: a comprehensive evaluation

Gradual penetration of automated vehicles (AVs) into current motorway systems will usher the stage of mixed traffic in which AVs will coexist with human driven vehicles. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify the possible impacts of this mixed traffic on motorway operation. To investigate the potential benefits or losses due to introducing AVs into existing motorway systems, this study conducts a comprehensive evaluation based on simulation using a 5.3 km stretch on Auckland Motorway and traffic data provided by New Zealand Traffic Agent (NZTA). We analyze the impacts of different AV shares on mobility, safety, emissions and fuel consumption. The motorway with and without traffic control are tested under four scenarios of traffic conditions, namely, heavily congested traffic (> 0.95*capacity), lightly congested traffic (≈0.7*capacity), free-flow traffic (≈0.5*capacity), and future traffic (3*heavily congested traffic volume). The outcomes of the research can provide motorway designers and operators a reasonable range of influences contributed by AV penetration so as to better prepare for AVs’ arrival.

  • Record URL:
  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • © 2019 Duo Li and Peter Wagner. The contents of this paper reflect the views of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Transportation Research Board or the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Authors:
  • Publication Date: 2019-12


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01721426
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 10 2019 3:08PM