Host: John Baras
Intersections are hazardous places. Threats arise from interactions among pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles, more complicated vehicle trajectories in the absence of lane markings, phases that prevent determining who has the right of way, invisible vehicle approaches, vehicle obstructions, and illegal movements. These challenges are not fully addressed by the “road diet” and road redesign prescribed in Vision Zero plans, nor will they be completely overcome by autonomous vehicles with their many sensors and tireless attention to surroundings. Accidents can also occur because drivers, cyclists and pedestrians do not have the information they need to avoid wrong decisions. In these cases, the missing information can be computed and broadcast by an intelligent intersection. The information gives the current full signal phase, an estimate of the time when the phase will change, and the occupancy of the blind spots of the driver or autonomous vehicle. We develop a design of the intelligent intersection, motivated by the analysis of an accident at an intersection in Tempe, AZ, between an automated Uber Volvo and a manual Honda CRV and culminates in a proposal for an intelligent intersection infrastructure. The intelligent intersection also serves as a software-enabled version of the ‘protected intersection’ design to improve the passage of cyclists and pedestrians through an intersection.
Pravin Varaiya is a Professor of the Graduate School in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology since 2010. He has co-authored four books and 350+ articles. His current research is devoted to transportation networks and electric energy systems. Varaiya has held a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Miller Research Professorship. He has received three honorary doctorates, the Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award, the Field Medal and Bode Lecture Prize of the IEEE Control Systems Society, and the Outstanding Researcher and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society. He is a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of IFAC, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.