A minority of self-organizing autonomous vehicles significantly increase freeway traffic flow

Complexity Digest

Amir Goldental and Ido Kanter

Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical


This study investigates the dynamics of traffic containing human-driven vehicles along with a fraction of self-organized artificial intelligence (AI) autonomous vehicles (AVs) on multilane freeways. We propose guidelines for the development of AI agents, such that a small fraction of AVs forms local constellations that significantly accelerate the entire traffic flow while reducing fuel consumption and increasing safety. Specifically, we report a 40% enhancement in traffic flow efficiency and up to 27% reduction in fuel consumption even when only 5% of vehicles are autonomous. This scenario does not require changes to current infrastructure or communication between vehicles; it only requires proper regulations. The results indicate that more efficient, safer, faster, and greener traffic flow can be realized in the near future.

Source: iopscience.iop.org

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