Vehicle automation and communication technologies are considered promising approaches to improve operational driving behavior. The expected gradual implementation of autonomous vehicles (AVs) shortly will cause unique impacts on the traffic flow characteristics. This paper focuses on reviewing the expected impacts under a mixed traffic environment of AVs and regular vehicles (RVs) considering different AV characteristics. The paper includes a policy implication discussion for possible actual future practice and research interests. The AV implementation has positive impacts on the traffic flow, such as improved traffic capacity and stability. However, the impact depends on the factors including penetration rate of the AVs, characteristics, and operational settings of the AVs, traffic volume level, and human driving behavior. The critical penetration rate, which has a high potential to improve traffic characteristics, was higher than 40%. AV’s intelligent control of operational driving is a function of its operational settings, mainly car-following modeling. Different adjustments of these settings may improve some traffic flow parameters and may deteriorate others. The position and distribution of AVs and the type of their leading or following vehicles may play a role in maximizing their impacts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments: The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) in conducting this research.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Autonomous vehicle (AV)
- Mixed traffic environment
- Policy implication
- Regular vehicle (RV)
- Road capacity
- Traffic stability
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law