Eurotech Postdoctoral Scholar: Athanasios (Akis) Theofilatos
Project Acronym: SPARTAN
Title of Research Project: Safety analysis and ProActive Real-time Traffic management considering AutoNomous vehicles
Advances in technology enabled the monitoring and collection of real-time traffic and weather data in freeways. However, adaptation of existing research and traffic management to introduction of autonomous vehicles (AVs) has yet to be investigated. The proposed research aims at advancing the cur-rent knowledge by applying advanced statistical models and by considering AVs through simulations. This assumes a number of hypotheses (e.g. AVs will use a dedicated lane) and an extended modification of existing behavioral models. It will also be examined how the introduction of AVs will affect safety of existing traditional road users. To enhance pro-active safety, short-term traffic forecasting will also be used as input to perform road safety evaluation of traditional road users. This approach will also be tested for different AV penetration rates. The ultimate aim is to understand crash mechanism with and without AVs and propose a proactive management system. To achieve the aims, traffic, weather and crash data from Attica Tollway in Athens will be used. The objectives are particularly useful for real-time safety evaluation of freeways not only in Greece but also of other European countries. This is a unique opportunity as it is the first time that AVs are considered in real-time traffic management. Thus, the produced results will offer new and innovative insights for better understanding real-time road safety, but also practical implications by developing a proactive traffic management system based on real-time safety. This will be a great opportunity for the candidate to make an important step towards his professional development, academic career and his improvement of his research knowledge, as it will also enable him to go to proficient important analytical techniques.