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Real-Time Prediction of Vehicle Locations in a Connected Vehicle Environment
Noah J. Goodall
Noah J. Goodall
Year: 2013
VTRC No.: 14-R4
Abstract: The wireless communication between vehicles and the transportation infrastructure, referred to as the connected vehicle environment, has the potential to improve driver safety and mobility drastically for drivers. However, the rollout of connected vehicle technologies in passenger vehicles is expected to last 30 years or more, during which time traffic will be a mix of vehicles equipped with the technology and vehicles that are not equipped with the technology. Most mobility applications tested in simulation, such as traffic signal control and performance measurement, show greater benefits as a larger percentage of vehicles are equipped with connected vehicle technologies.

The purpose of this study was to develop and investigate techniques to estimate the positions of unequipped vehicles based on the behaviors of equipped vehicles. Two algorithms were developed for this purpose: one for use with arterials and one for use with freeways. Both algorithms were able to estimate the positions of a portion of unequipped vehicles in the same lane within a longitudinal distance. Further, two connected vehicle mobility applications were able to use these estimates to produce small performance improvements in simulation at low penetration rates of connected vehicle technologies when compared to using connected vehicle data alone, with up to an 8% reduction in delay for a ramp metering application and a 4.4% reduction in delay for a traffic signal control application.

The study recommends that the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research (VCTIR) continue to assess the data quality of connected vehicle field deployments to determine if the developed algorithms can be deployed. If data quality is deemed acceptable and if a connected vehicle application is tested in a field deployment, VCTIR should evaluate the use of the location estimation algorithms to improve the application’s performance at low penetration rates. This is expected to result in reduced delays and improved flow for connected vehicle mobility applications during times when few vehicles are able to communicate wirelessly.