Enhancing Mixed Traffic Flow Safety via Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Trajectory Planning with a Reinforcement Learning Approach

Yanqiu Cheng, Chenxi Chen, Xianbiao Hu, Kuanmin Chen, Qing Tang, Yang Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The longitudinal trajectory planning of connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) has been widely studied in the literature to reduce travel time or fuel consumptions. The safety impact of CAV trajectory planning to the mixed traffic flow with both CAV and human-driven vehicle (HDV), however, is not well understood yet. This study presents a reinforcement learning modeling approach, named Monte Carlo tree search-based autonomous vehicle safety algorithm, or MCTS-AVS, to optimize the safety of mixed traffic flow, on a one-lane roadway with signalized intersection control. Crash potential index (CPI) is defined to quantitively measure the safety performance of the mixed traffic flow. The CAV trajectory planning problem is firstly formulated as an optimization model; then, the solution procedure based on reinforcement learning is proposed. The tree-expansion determination module and rollout termination module are developed to identify and reduce the unnecessary tree expansion, so as to train the model more efficiently towards the desired direction. The case study results showed that the proposed algorithm was able to reduce the CPI by 76.56%, when compared with a benchmark model without any intelligence, and 12.08%, when compared with another benchmark model that the team developed earlier. These results demonstrated the satisfactory performance of the proposed algorithm in enhancing the safety of the mixed traffic flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6117890
JournalJournal of Advanced Transportation
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management

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