Neuroevolution Application to Collaborative and Heuristics-Based Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Cohort Simulation at Uncontrolled Intersection

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Artificial intelligence is gaining tremendous attractiveness and showing great success in solving various problems, such as simplifying optimal control derivation. This work focuses on the application of Neuroevolution to the control of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) cohorts operating at uncontrolled intersections. The proposed method implementation’s simplicity, thanks to the inclusion of heuristics and effective real-time performance are demonstrated. The resulting architecture achieves nearly ideal operating conditions in keeping the average speeds close to the speed limit. It achieves twice as high mean speed throughput as a controlled intersection, hence enabling lower travel time and mitigating energy inefficiencies from stop-and-go vehicle dynamics. Low deviation from the road speed limit is hence continuously sustained for cohorts of at most 50 m long. This limitation can be mitigated with additional lanes that the cohorts can split into. The concept also allows the testing and implementation of fast-turning lanes by simply replicating and reconnecting the control architecture at each new road crossing, enabling high scalability for complex road network analysis. The controller is also successfully validated within a high-fidelity vehicle dynamic environment, showing its potential for driverless vehicle control in addition to offering a new traffic control simulation model for future autonomous operation studies.

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