Adaptive cruise control tech could ease phantom traffic jams, Vanderbilt study finds

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WKRN) — A new automotive technology called adaptive cruise control could help ease a seemingly ubiquitous traffic congestion called phantom traffic.

“The extremely frustrating traffic jams that motorists are all too familiar with, where you get pulled over for no good reason. You get pulled over because of the way you and I drive,” said Dan Walker, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University. stopped. “

The world’s largest open rail transit trial takes place in November. 14-11 daily on I-24 4-mile Route 18 between 5am and 10:30am. For five days, 100 engineers drove on I-24, testing Nissan Rogues with adaptive cruise control. In addition, the researchers monitored 300 ultra-high-definition cameras to check the behavior of other drivers.

In just one day, the researchers logged 143,010 miles driven and 3,780 hours of driving, which would provide estimated fuel consumption during those hours.

“The concept we hope to demonstrate is that by utilizing this new traffic system to collect data and estimate traffic, and applying artificial intelligence techniques to existing cruise control systems, we can alleviate traffic congestion and improve fuel economy,” the CIRCLES team said in a statement. said in a report. Joint Statement. The team includes members from Vanderbilt University, UC Berkeley, Temple University, and Rutgers University-Camden, in collaboration with Nissan North America and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers concluded that the technology could save drivers time and fuel by reducing the severity and frequency of phantom traffic.

The research has been going on for many years and involves groups from all over the world.

“This past week has been a giant leap, with 100 Nissan vehicles driving on I-24, filled with challenges that many drivers on this road are familiar with, to see if the technologies that have been developed are actually working in the lab. that transfers to the real world,” Walker said.

Vanderbilt University previously partnered with other institutions to test adaptive cruise control technology using 20 cars on a closed track. The study showed that just one car with adaptive cruise control influenced the driving behavior of 20 people.

The researchers wondered whether the same results would hold in the real world.

“Researchers all over the world are working on how to get these self-driving cars to acquire a kind of self-driving capability at some point. Our research is looking at the exact opposite angle,” Walker said. “We want to understand how technologies that may be introduced in the coming months can help improve traffic conditions.”

Engineers are still determining the exact impact of the technology in mitigating phantom traffic. They plan to examine the results in more detail in the coming weeks.

One of their next steps is to work with car companies to find ways to make the technology available to the public as quickly as possible in the coming months.

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“The next car you can buy without doing much may improve transportation for other people,” Walker said. “We think it’s a great story, we think it’s something people can support, we just Push it as hard as you can to make sure you don’t have to wait a decade for these results in a vehicle you can buy.”

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Transportation and Energy. The cars tested were provided by Nissan, Toyota North America and General Motors.

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