Safely introducing CAVs into integrated transport networks
With self-driving cars becoming closer to being on our roads, it is critical we understand how new technology should work as part of an integrated transport network. Getting this right means we can maximise safety, mobility, and efficiency benefits for society.
This project will undertake research into customer-focused safe operation of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) in various urban environments with Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) to improve road user safety and inform Transport for NSW network readiness for automated mobility.
It will establish real-world testbeds and demonstrations in operating environments of varying complexity, to inform guidelines and recommendations for CAVs to operate safely as part of an integrated transport network.
The project will demonstrate the benefit of CAVs when operating as part of an integrated transport network and focus on cooperative ‘vehicle-to-everything’ communications to improve road safety outcomes. This will include understanding pedestrian intentions and utilising intelligent infrastructure to improve safety for vulnerable road users.
Lastly, it will also provide an understanding of the physical and digital infrastructure needed to support the safe introduction of CAVs and establish a number of testbed sites for further research and evaluation of emerging CAV and C-ITS technology.
The recommendations from this will help inform NSW positions and policy on the safe introduction of CAVs to various road environments.
Transport for NSW is working with the University of Sydney through its representative, the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), and the iMOVE CRC to sponsor PhD research into pedestrian detection and path prediction for CAVs. This research project will enable the PhD researcher and other researchers to apply their work in the testbeds to support the project’s objectives.
The PhD research applied in this project will focus on developing and demonstrating the seamless interaction of autonomous vehicles and pedestrians in crowded environments to improve the safety of vulnerable road users.
The project involves research into customer focused safe operation of AVs in various urban environments with C-ITS supporting pedestrian and road user safety outcomes.
The main goals of the project can be summarised as:
- The provision of guidelines and recommendations on operating principles for CAVs to operate safely when working in and transitioning between complex environments and operating as part of an integrated transport network.
- Providing analysis reports to demonstrate and assess the impacts and benefit of CAVs when operating in different environments and applications with special attention to be placed on highly-crowded pedestrian areas.
- Establishing a number of real-world testbed sites for CAVs in operating environments of varying complexity for further research in and evaluation of emerging CAV and C-ITS technology.
- Providing a flexible and collaborative research platform to demonstrate, develop and evaluate emerging CAV and C-ITS technology to improve the parties’ collective understanding of the physical and digital infrastructure needed to support the safe introduction of CAVs as part of an integrated transport network.
This project will result in reports with analysis of results, guidelines, and recommendations, addressing the following topics including:
- The impact, considerations and benefits of integrating C-ITS and CAVs in urban traffic and crowded pedestrian environments.
- Demonstration of integrating Intelligent Infrastructure and CAVs to improve safety and mobility.
- Tools / methods for systematic analysis of the complex system of human-machine-space interaction for the use of CAVs in diverse areas involving different populations.
- Safety of autonomous vehicles: methodologies for the determination of Operational Design Domain (ODD) and safety properties that can guarantee basic definition of safety for various typical scenarios within these environments.
- Provide an understanding of how CAVs will operate safely as part of an integrated transport network, including the collection of data and mapping of surrounding infrastructure.
- Provide an understanding of the physical and digital infrastructure required to enable and support the safe operation of CAVs in different environments.
UPDATE – May 2023
This project has been completed, and we will soon produce a wrap-up article with an overview of the project’s findings, and a copy of the final report as a download.