Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Safety Impact Evaluation of a Narrow Automated Vehicle-Exclusive Reversible Lane on an Existing Smart Freeway


The main objective of this research is to evaluate the safety impact of an innovative infrastructure solution for safe and efficient integration of Automated Vehicle (AV) as an emerging technology into an existing transportation system. Filling the gap in the limited research on the effect of AV technology on infrastructure standards, this project will evaluate whether AVs could operate safely in a narrow lane next to regular traffic lanes on an expressway. Specifically, this study will investigate implications of adding a narrow reversible AV exclusive lane to the existing configuration of I-15 expressway in San Diego, resulting in a 9-feet AV reversible lane, and in both directions, two 12-feet lanes for HOV and FasTrak vehicles. Given the difference between the operation of AVs and human-driven vehicles and reliance of AVs on sensors as opposed to human capabilities, the question is can we provide narrower roadways with more efficient right of ways assuming AVs are more precise in lateral and longitudinal lane keeping behavior? To accomplish the goal of the project, the research team will conduct a series of research approaches including literature review, AV manufacturers product review, expert interviews, consumer questionnaire review, crash data analysis, and traffic simulation analysis. We will prepare practical recommendations and guidelines from the results of the study usable for practitioners and professional organizations pertaining to AV development.

Project Highlights

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Final Report

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EWD & T2 Products

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Research Investigators (PI*)

Sahar Machiani (SDSU))*
Arash JahangiriĀ (SDSU)
Walter Musial (LLG Engineers)
Shankar Ramakrishnan (LLG Engineers)
Alidad Ahmadi (LLG Engineers)
Sam Amen (Caltrans)

Project Information

Start Date: 2019-04-01
End Date: 2020-09-30
Status: Active
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $228,504
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: 04-101

Safe-D Theme Areas

Automated Vehicles

Safe-D ApplicationĀ Areas

Operations and Design
Risk Assessment
Planning for Safety
Infrastructure Technology

More Information

UTC Project Information Form

Sponsor Organization

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
University Transportation Centers Program
Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590 United States

Performing Organization

San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr
San Diego, CA 92182