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Journal of Advanced Transportation
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 1879518, 12 pages
Research Article

Protected Turning Movements of Noncooperative Automated Vehicles: Geometrics, Trajectories, and Saturation Flow

1School of Transportation and Logistics, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China
2Department of Geography, State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, New Paltz, NY, USA
3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington SW7 2AZ, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Scott Le Vine

Received 26 May 2017; Accepted 15 November 2017; Published 10 January 2018

Academic Editor: Emanuele Crisostomi

Copyright © 2018 Xiaobo Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study is the first to quantify throughput (saturation flow) of noncooperative automated vehicles when performing turning maneuvers, which are critical bottlenecks in arterial road networks. We first develop a constrained optimization problem based on AVs’ kinematic behavior during a protected signal phase which considers both ABS-enabled and wheels-locked braking, as well as avoiding encroaching into oncoming traffic or past the edge-of-receiving-lane. We analyze noncooperative (“defensive”) behavior, in keeping with the Assured Clear Distance Ahead legal standard to which human drivers are held and AVs will likely also be for the foreseeable future. We demonstrate that, under plausible behavioral parameters, AVs appear likely to have positive impacts on throughput of turning traffic streams at intersections, in the range of +0.2% (under the most conservative circumstances) to +43% for a typical turning maneuver. We demonstrate that the primary mechanism of impact of turning radius is its effect on speed, which is likely to be constrained by passenger comfort. We show heterogeneous per-lane throughput in the case of “double turn lanes.” Finally, we demonstrate limited sensitivity to crash-risk criterion, with a 4% difference arising from a change from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 100,000,000. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of policy implications and future research needs.