Learning to Control and Coordinate Hybrid Traffic Through Robot Vehicles at Complex and Unsignalized Intersections

by   Dawei Wang, et al.

Intersections are essential road infrastructures for traffic in modern metropolises; however, they can also be the bottleneck of traffic flows due to traffic incidents or the absence of traffic coordination mechanisms such as traffic lights. Thus, various control and coordination mechanisms that are beyond traditional control methods have been proposed to improve the efficiency of intersection traffic. Amongst these methods, the control of foreseeable hybrid traffic that consists of human-driven vehicles (HVs) and robot vehicles (RVs) has recently emerged. We propose a decentralized reinforcement learning approach for the control and coordination of hybrid traffic at real-world, complex intersections–a topic that has not been previously explored. Comprehensive experiments are conducted to show the effectiveness of our approach. In particular, we show that using 5 formation inside the intersection under the actual traffic demand of 700 vehicles per hour. In contrast, without RVs, congestion starts to develop when the traffic demand reaches as low as 200 vehicles per hour. Further performance gains (reduced waiting time of vehicles at the intersection) are obtained as the RV penetration rate increases. When there exist more than 50 traffic, our method starts to outperform traffic signals on the average waiting time of all vehicles at the intersection. Our method is also robust against both blackout events and sudden RV percentage drops, and enjoys excellent generalizablility, which is illustrated by its successful deployment in two unseen intersections.


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