UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Real-Time Safety Optimization of Connected Vehicle Trajectories Using Reinforcement Learning Ghoul, Tarek; Sayed, Tarek, 1965-


Speed advisories are used on highways to inform vehicles of upcoming changes in traffic conditions and apply a variable speed limit to reduce traffic conflicts and delays. This study applies a similar concept to intersections with respect to connected vehicles to provide dynamic speed advisories in real-time that guide vehicles towards an optimum speed. Real-time safety evaluation models for signalized intersections that depend on dynamic traffic parameters such as traffic volume and shock wave characteristics were used for this purpose. The proposed algorithm incorporates a rule-based approach alongside a Deep Deterministic Policy Gradient reinforcement learning technique (DDPG) to assign ideal speeds for connected vehicles at intersections and improve safety. The system was tested on two intersections using real-world data and yielded an average reduction in traffic conflicts ranging from 9% to 23%. Further analysis was performed to show that the algorithm yields tangible results even at lower market penetration rates (MPR). The algorithm was tested on the same intersection with different traffic volume conditions as well as on another intersection with different physical constraints and characteristics. The proposed algorithm provides a low-cost approach that is not computationally intensive and works towards optimizing for safety by reducing rear-end traffic conflicts.

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