A Simulation-Based Safety Analysis of CACC-Enabled Highway Platooning
Abstract: Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) enable actors in the transport systems to interact and collaborate by exchanging information via wireless communication networks. There are several challenges to overcome before they can be implemented and deployed on public roads. Among the most important challenges are testing and evaluation in order to ensure the safety of C-ITS applications.This thesis focuses on testing and evaluation of C-ITS applications with regard to their safety using simulation. The main focus is on one C-ITS application, namely platooning, that is enabled by the Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) function. Therefore, this thesis considers two main topics: i) what should be modelled and simulated for testing and evaluation of C-ITS applications? and ii) how should CACC functions be evaluated in order to ensure safety?When C-ITS applications are deployed, we can expect traffic situations which consist of vehicles with different capabilities, in terms of automation and connectivity. We propose that involving human drivers in testing and evaluation is important in such mixed traffic situations. Considering important aspects of C-ITS including human drivers, we propose a simulation framework, which combines driving-, network-, and traffic simulators. The simulation framework has been validated by demonstrating several use cases in the scope of platooning. In particular, it is used to demonstrate and analyse the safety of platooning applications in cut-in situations, where a vehicle driven by a human driver cuts in between vehicles in platoon. To assess the situations, time-to-collision (TTC) and its extensions are used as safety indicators in the analyses.The simulation framework permits future C-ITS research in other fields such as human factors by involving human drivers in a C-ITS context. Results from the safety analyses show that cut-in situations are not always hazardous, and two factors that are the most highly correlated to the collisions are relative speed and distance between vehicles at the moment of cutting in. Moreover, we suggest that to solely rely on CACC functions is not sufficient to handle cut-in situations. Therefore, guidelines and standards are required to address these situations properly.
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