A Preliminary Systems-Level Evaluation of Automated Urban Freeways

by Robert A. Johnston, Univ of California, Davis, United States,
Dorriah L. Page, Univ of California, Davis, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Applications of Advanced Technologies in Transportation Engineering


Transportation planners predict that traffic congestion will increase dramatically in the future. With 63% of all congestion on urban freeways, much of it in high-density areas, traditional solutions such as lane additions, often may not be feasible. Automation is a proposed solution to this problem, as it increases freeway capacity without building new lanes. The technological capabilities for vehicle and highway automation are advancing, and with these advances the need for regional transportation systems modelling grows. This paper examines the impacts of urban freeway automation on regional travel behavior in the Sacramento, California region. An urban transportation systems model (MINUTP) is utilized to project the effects of automation on VMT, lane-miles of congestion, hours of delay, transit trips, average trip length, and auto occupancy rates. Four scenarios are examined: A 1989 Base Case, 2010 No-Build, 2010 Freeway Automation, 2010 New HOV Lanes, and 2010 Light Rail Expansion.

Subject Headings: Traffic congestion | Highways and roads | Intelligent transportation systems | Automated transit systems | Urban areas | Urban and regional development | Traffic models | California | United States

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