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Assessment of the safety benefits of connected and automated vehicle technologies

Prof. Mohamed Abdel-Aty
Trustee Chair
Pegasus Professor and Department Chair
University of Central Florida


Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) technologies are believed to have a large effect on traffic safety. For now, we want to know what level could CAV technologies reduce crashes when all vehicles are equipped with them? Which crash types could these technologies make the greatest benefit? The answers to these questions could provide important guidance for CAV-related policies, research resource allocation, manufacturing and promotion of these systems. At present little work has been done toward answering these questions. Actually, there are plenty of studies which focus on the separate safety performance of a single or several technologies, but few in the literature have tried to integrate all CAV-related studies to make a comprehensive and general safety benefit estimation. In this presentation, we provide an introduction about CAV, we make a general crash avoidance effectiveness framework of CAV, then we apply the crash avoidance effectiveness framework to the total crash population to estimate a total safety benefit of CAV. The presentation also addresses some of the current CV-related studies by the presenter’s team. The effectiveness of Connected Vehicle (CV) technologies in adverse visibility conditions using microscopic traffic and driving simulation. Traffic flow characteristics deteriorate significantly in reduced visibility conditions resulting in high crash risk. We apply CV technologies on a segment of Interstate I-4 in Florida to improve the traffic safety under fog conditions. Two types of CV approaches (i.e., connected vehicles without platooning (CVWPL) and connected vehicles with platooning (CVPL)) were applied to reduce the crash risk in terms of three surrogate measures of safety. This study implemented Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication technologies of CVs to acquire real-time traffic data using the microsimulation software VISSIM. The model performances were evaluated under different CV market penetration rates (MPRs). The study also proposed a traffic safety improvement approach by Variable Speed Limit (VSL) strategy to reduce secondary crash risk under fog conditions. The VSL strategy was tested under both connected-vehicle (CV) environment and non-CV environment. Another study used driving simulation to test the effectiveness of V2I and V2V and the design of the heads-up display. While the presentation will focus on the safety benefits of CV, it will also address relevant issues in traffic operation, big data, and active traffic management.

Biographical Profile

Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Aty, PE is a Trustee Chair at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He is a Pegasus Professor and Chair of the Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering Department at UCF. He is leading the Future City initiative at UCF. His main expertise and interests are in the areas of traffic safety analysis, simulation, big data and data analytics, and ITS and CAV. He is a pioneer and well recognized nationally and internationally in work and research in real-time safety analysis, Proactive traffic management, integrating road safety and transportation planning, Highway Safety Manual and Connected Vehicles. He was awarded in 2015 the Pegasus Professorship, the highest honor at UCF. In the last 22 years, Dr. Abdel-Aty has managed more than 60 research projects of about of $17 million. Dr. Abdel-Aty has published more than 510 papers, 270 in journals (Citations 12,100, H-Index 58). He supervised to graduation 70 PhD and MS students (in addition to currently supervising 15 PhD students). Dr. Abdel-Aty is the Editor-in-Chief of Accident Analysis and Prevention, the premier journal in safety. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the ITS Journal and the International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, Fellow of ASCE, and member of multiple TRB Committees, including Safety Data, Analysis & Evaluation, Safety Performance, and User Information Systems. In 2003 he was selected as UCF’s Distinguished Researcher, and in 2007 as UCF’s Outstanding Graduate Teacher. He has received multiple research awards from the College of Engineering & Computer Science in 2003, 2008, 2010 and 2012, including the Dean’s Advisory Board award. He and his students received multiple awards for their papers and research from ASCE, TRB, WCTR, ITS Florida and FL section ITE. His students received twice the best University dissertation and once the best MS thesis. He has been invited to deliver many Keynote speeches in conferences around the world, including in Belgium, Brazil, China, Korea, Turkey, KSA, Jordan, Qatar, and UAE. He is a registered professional engineer in Florida.

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