Motion Planning for Multiple

Autonomous Vehicles

Congestion
Avoidance in City
Traffic

Presentation of paper: R. Kala, K. Warwick (2015) Congestion
Avoidance in City Traffic. Journal of Advanced Transportation,
49(4):
581–595.
School of Systems, Engineering, University of
April,
2013

Rahul
Kala
rkala.99k.org

Key Contributions
• Proposing city traffic as a scenario to
study traffic congestion.
• Proposing the importance of considering
traffic lights in decision making
regarding routes.
• Proposing a simple routing algorithm
that eliminates the high density of traffic
and hence minimizes congestion.
• Stressing frequent short term replanning of the vehicle in place of long
term (complete) infrequent re-planning.
Motion Planning for Multiple Autonomous Vehicles

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Assumption
• Vehicles have very diverse speeds
• Non-recurrent traffic (does not follow
historical traffic patterns)
• City traffic scenario
Objective
• Minimize non-recurrent congestion

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City Traffic Scenario
S.
No.

Characteris
tic

Highway Traffic

1.

Infrastructure

Less number of
long length roads

Many short length
roads (alternative
roads) intercepting
each other. Very
computationally
expensive routing.

2.

Vehicle
Emergence

Distant entry/ exit
points. New
vehicles do not
invalidate
anticipated plans.

Many entry/ exit
points at road ends/
between roads.
Because of new
vehicles, anticipation
not possible.

3.

Planning
Frequency

High anticipation
favours long term
planning

Low anticipation
invalidates long term
plans

Motion Planning for Multiple Autonomous Vehicles

City Traffic

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Routing Systems

Limitations

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Planning Hypothesis

Make frequent effective short
term plans
or, plan part of the route regularly as the vehicle
moves
• Frequent = Constantly adapt to changes
• Short Term = Limit computational requirement
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Traffic Simulation
• Driving Speed
– Intelligent Driver Model (standard model, converts
vehicle separations into speed)

• Lane Change
– Choose lane with maximize Time to Collision (if any in
the current)
– Stay on the leftmost lane (if currently close to
maximum speed)
– This allows other vehicles to overtake (from the right)

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Single Lane Overtake
• Vehicles vary a lot in speeds and hence every
overtake is important
• Vehicle is allowed to move on the wrong side,
overtake the slower vehicle and return to its
lane
• Vehicle are projected (with acceleration for the
overtaking vehicle).
• Overtake should be feasible as per projections
with enough separations
• Other vehicles may additionally cooperate post
initiation of single lane overtake, to overcome
uncertainties
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Single Lane Overtake
A

B
C

A

B

B
A

C

B

C

(a) A checks feasibility to
overtake B while C is coming
from opposite end

(b) Projected positions of
vehicles when A is expected to
lie comfortably ahead of B

A
(c) Completion of overtake.

C
Arrows indicate separation checks. Since A and C are moving in opposite direction,
needed separation is much larger.
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Hypothesis

Vehicle Routing

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Vehicle Routing
Let:
Arrows denote roads
Line Widths denote current traffic density
Heuristic costs to goal may replace actual costs
after threshold
Route 1: Long, Moderate density, more traffic lights

Source

Goal
Route 2: Short, High traffic density, less traffic
lights
Route 3: Preferable Long, Low traffic density, less
traffic lights

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Vehicle Routing

(b) After reaching the next
crossing, change of plan
takes place as per the new
information available

Goal

maxHistorical
Current
position

Origin

Current
position
Selected
Path

maxHistorical

Selected
Path

Selected
Path

(a) From current position
the vehicle plans towards
the goal and after
maxHistorical cost stops
the current search and
moves by the best path
Current
position

(c) Vehicle finally reaches
a point from where the
goal is near

Motion Planning for Multiple Autonomous Vehicles

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Comparisons
S.
No.

Method

Objective/ Frequency

1.

Optimistic (static)

Minimize expected travel time assuming
highest speeds

2.

Pessimistic (static)

Minimize expected travel time assuming
highest speeds, prefer roads with more
lanes

3.

Traffic Messaging
Channel (TMC, static)

Track vehicles to get immediate travel
speeds (adapted for diverse speed
vehicles), planned for only at the start

4.

TMC (dynamic)

S. No. 3, plan at every crossing

5.

Density (dynamic)

Minimize expected travel time by
considering current traffic density, plan
at every crossing

6.

TMC with traffic lights
(dynamic)

S. No. 4, expected time waiting at the
crossing added

Density with traffic

Proposed method, S. No. 3,
expected
rkala.99k.org

7.

Motion Planning for Multiple Autonomous Vehicles

Results
25

Average Time of Completion of Journey
optimistic

20

pressimistic
15

TMC static

Average Time of completion of journey (minutes)
10

TMC dynamic
TMC with traffic lights

5

density

0

density with traffic
lights
5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

Number of vehicles per second
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Results
4.5

Average Distance Travelled
optimistic

4
3.5

pressimistic

3
TMC static

2.5
Average Distance
2 Travelled (miles)

TMC dynamic

1.5

TMC with traffic
lights

1
0.5
0

density
5

10

15

20

25

30

35

Number of vehicles per second

Motion Planning for Multiple Autonomous Vehicles

40

45

density with
traffic lights

rkala.99k.org

Results
20

Average Speed

18

optimistic

16
14

pressimistic

12

TMC static

10 Speed (miles/hr)
Average
8

TMC dynamic
TMC with traffic
lights

6
4

density

2
0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

density with traffic
lights

Number of vehicles per second
Motion Planning for Multiple Autonomous Vehicles

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Results
Average Time of Completion of Journey
25
20
15
Average Time of completion of journey (minutes)

10

with overtaking
without overtaking

5
0
Number of vehicles per second

Results with and without single lane
overtaking

Motion Planning for Multiple Autonomous Vehicles

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• Acknowledgements:
• Commonwealth Scholarship
Commission in the United Kingdom
• British Council

Thank You
Motion Planning for Multiple Autonomous Vehicles

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