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Designing Roads for AVs (autonomous vehicles)

  1. Jeffrey Funk Retired from National University of Singapore, Hitotsubashi University, Kobe University, Penn State, Carnegie Mellon, University of Michigan For information on other technologies, see
  2. The First Cars were Implemented in a Constrained Environment  Paved roads were created for autos  Highways were created for fast moving autos  Special entry points  Horses, bicycles, and old vehicles aren’t allowed  Fences prevent entry by animals and children at other points  These paved roads and high- ways reduce complexity of driving and thus increase safety
  3. Other Technologies also Implemented in Constrained Environment  Planes use airports and special flight corridors  Ships uses ports and special corridors within ports  IT uses standards to simplify design  Interface standards exist for most products  Compatibility may emerge later (e.g., Wintel and Apple computers)
  4. Shouldn’t We “Constrain” the Environment for Driverless Vehicles?  Won’t allowing them on all roads and all parking lots be dangerous?  Without constraints, AVs must handle many contingencies  Children run onto road  Cars run out of gas or break down  Street or traffic lights stop working  Chaos of parking lots
  5. Bad or Unusual Weather Provides Other Reasons for Constraints  Difficult situations  Dark, Raining  Snowing  Foggy, Windy  It will take many years for driverless vehicles to handle all situations  Would you drive next to driverless truck on snowy day?
  6. Without Constraints, the Benefits from AVs are very Small  Drivers can do something else while AV is self-driving  Read, watch videos  Is this a large benefit?  Governments may allow driver to be eliminated  Reduces cost of taxis  Increases capacity of taxis  Is this a large benefit and when might governments allow these changes?  Shouldn’t we be looking for bigger benefits?
  7. Shouldn’t we be Looking for Larger Benefits  Can we move these vehicles at 60 MPH?  Reducing travel time is potentially big benefit  When roads are completely filled with driverless vehicles  Inter-vehicle distances can be reduced  Traffic signals can be eliminated  Both enable higher capacity roads, perhaps enabling roads to be used for something else  25% of space in Los Angeles is for roads and parking lots
  8. City Percentage Devoted to Streets Street Area (square feet) Per Capita New York 30% 345 Newark 16% 257 San Francisco 26% 441 Chicago 24% 424 Philadelphia 19% 365 St. Louis 25% 609 Pittsburgh 18% 455 Cleveland 17% 416 Miami 24% 778 Milwaukee 20% 724 Cincinnati 13% 573 Los Angeles 14% 741 Atlanta 15% 1,120 Houston 13% 1.585 Dallas 13% 1,575 Portion of Land Devoted to Streets Source: John R. Meyer and Jose A. Gomez-Ibanez, Autos, Transit, and Cities, Twentieth Century Fund Report (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981).
  9. Rank City Parking Area* Divided by Land Area 1 Los Angeles 81% 2 Melbourne 76% 3 Adelaide 73% 4 Houston 57% 5 Detroit 56% 6 Washington, D.C. 54% 7 Brisbane 52% 8 Calgary 47% 9 Portland 46% 10 Brussels 45% Land for Parking in Urban Areas Source: Michael Manville and Donald Shoup, “People, Parking, and Cities,” Journal of Urban Planning and Development, Vol. 131, No. 4, December 2005, pp. 233-245 * Includes all levels of all parking garages
  10. The Bottom Line  Safety problems are large as long as both AVs and conventional vehicles are interacting on roads and in parking lots  Elimination of driver and driver’s seat is small benefit  The benefits from driverless vehicles don’t become large until all vehicles on a road (or lane of road) are driverless vehicles  This should be the goal of driverless vehicles  Cities can charge users for access to roads (or lanes) dedicated to AVs  New revenue source for cities, which can be used for many things  Constraining the environment can increase safety and reduce the cost of the vehicles
  11. What Might These “Autonomous Roads” (or Lanes in Roads) be Like?  Vehicles are Controlled by Wireless Communication Technologies on Dedicated Roads  Cars are checked for autonomous capability when they enter a dedicated road  Route plans are checked and integrated with other route plans  Improvements in computer processing power facilitate checking and integrating  Much of these calculations would be done in secure private cloud
  12. Other Simple Solutions that Provide Additional Safety  Magnets and RFID tags can be embedded in highways to help control vehicles  They create an invisible railway  Estimated cost in Singapore  <200M SGD for magnets  <110M SGD for RFID  Very cheap, less than 2SGD per vehicle
  13. Dedicated Roads Lead to Higher Capacity Roads
  14. Dedicated Roads Lead to Fewer Delays at Traffic Signals
  15. Roads dedicated to AVs can have higher speeds and thus higher Fuel Efficiencies (lower carbon emissions) Can we move these cars at 30MPH or faster?
  16. Latency is Key Issue but it is Still Falling  Expected to fall below 0.1 milliseconds with wireless 5G services that will be implemented by early 2020s  Jones R 2015. Telecom’s Next Goal: Defining 5G, Wall Street Journal, March 9.  Could AVs become the main market for cellular 5G services?  Processing is done in cloud and the cost of these cloud services continues to fall  Falling latency requires better IT, but this keeps occurring through Moore’s Law
  17. Improvements in Latency (delay times in milliseconds) Enable Centralized Control of Vehicles
  18. High Processing Capability is Needed to Control Vehicles Improvements in Integrated Circuits and Computers Enable this Processing Power Processing power for 100 km road by vehicle inflow and reaction times (Several thousands PCs)
  19. Many of the Computer Calculations (price per car) Would be Done in the Cloud
  20. Moore’s Law Drives Reductions in Cloud Computing Services (price per car)
  21. Let’s Design “Autonomous Roads” for AVs  Dedicate roads or lanes in roads to AVs  Over time increase number of roads (or lanes) that are dedicated to AVs  This would  Increase safety of AVs, while increasing benefits from AVs  And reducing cost of AVs  Cost of AVs is already falling rapidly (see subsequent slides)  Emphasizing wireless control will reduce necessary on-car capabilities and thus cost of AVs  <$5,000 per car is possible  Capabilities can be embedded in module that can be added to existing vehicles
  22. Begin with Highways  Benefit from higher density of cars per area, all fast moving  Eliminate some highways (or lanes) since autonomous highways have more capacity
  23. Then Transform Surface Streets  Higher capacity of autonomous roads enables some roads to be used for other purposes  Autonomous roads can be surrounded by fences and perhaps roofs, thus enabling parks or other facilities to be constructed on top of them
  24. Cost of Autonomous Vehicles (Google Car) Falls as Improvements in Lasers and Other “Components” Occur Source: Wired Magazine,
  25. Better Lasers, Camera chips, MEMS, ICs, GPS Are Making these Vehicles Economically Feasible 1 Radar: triggers alert when something is in blind spot 2 Lane-keeping: Cameras recognize lane markings by spotting contrast between road surface and boundary lines 3 LIDAR: Light Detection and Ranging system depends on 64 lasers, spinning at upwards of 900 rpm, to generate a 360- degree view 4 Infrared Camera: camera detects objects 5 Stereo Vision: two cameras build a real-time 3-D image of the road ahead 6 GPS/Inertial Measurement: tells us location on map 7 Wheel Encoder: wheel-mounted sensors measure wheel velocity ICs interpret and act on this data
  26. Falling Cost of Autonomous Vehicles  Cost of “Google Car” was $150,000 in 2012  mostly for electronic components  about $70,000 for LIDAR from Velodyne  Current rates of improvement are 30%-40%  If costs drop 25% a year, cost of electronics will drop by 90% in ten years  May be evolutionary move towards AVs as Sensors are incorporated into existing vehicles the-future/?DCMP=gma-tra-carofthefuture-en&HQS=carofthefuture-bs-en  But many of these costs have dropped faster than this calculation  Velodyne offers low-cost LIDAR for $8,000
  27. Cost of Self-Driving Car Feature Self-Driving Car Volume Forecast Other Cost (and Volume) Estimates for AVs • Cost is key hurdle of Google’s self driving car • Cost ~ $200,000 to build in 2014 • By 2015, cost reduced to $50,000 • Further reduction as technology matures and volume increase • Look out for cost to reach $7000. Will lead to rapid adoption
  28. Wireless Control Enables Much Cheaper AVs  Inexpensive modules (<$5,000) can be produced using wireless and other integrated circuits  In addition to new vehicles, existing vehicles can be retrofitted with these modules  No need for LIDAR because of constrained environment  Lower costs enable faster diffusion  Faster diffusion enables faster implementation of roads dedicated to AVs
  29. Multiple Scenarios Can be Pursued Simultaneously  Scenario emphasized in these slides is design autonomous roads for AVs  This can be pursued even as mixed road scenario is pursued  High-end AVs are sold and they are used on roads with manually driven cars  These AVs will likely require divers for many years  But if they are successful, the drivers and the driving wheel may be eliminated, thus promoting the diffusion of these high-end AVs  Once these AVs have diffused, cities might pursue fully autonomous roads
  30. Many Challenges for Autonomous Roads  Need a good architecture and conceptual design for both system and vehicle modules  Need cellular infrastructure suppliers to work with automobile companies, component suppliers, and cities to design and test systems  Tests would be required under many types of weather situations  The goal should be operational systems by 2025, just as 5G has begun to diffuse
  31. Many Challenges (2)  Changeover from existing to autonomous roads will be difficult  Will enough people be willing to purchase modules to justify fast changeover?  Or will autonomous roads be under utilized for many years, thus wasting scarce resource of land?  What about people who don’t buy modules?  If they can’t use specific highway, what can they do?  They must be given viable alternatives  Can we offer them public transport or inexpensive multiple passenger ride sharing services?  Will they accept change or fight it?
  32. Many Challenges (3)  Alternatively, can we begin with lanes in roads, rather than entire roads?  Dedicate one lane to AVs  This would allow gradual switch from fully manual to fully autonomous road  One problem:  when highways are crowded, only the AV lane will be moving  How would an AV exit in this situation?  Would all the AVs have to stop for an AV to exit?
  33. Summary  AVs are quickly becoming cheaper  But their costs will remain high and their benefits low until we have fully autonomous roads  Developing these roads should be the goal of AVs  For naysayers, technologies have always been initially implemented in constrained environments  AVs should also be implemented in this way in order  increase safety  reduce costs of implementation  increase benefits from implementation