This study focuses on network configurations to accommodate automated vehicles (AVs) on road networks during the transition period to full automation. The literature suggests that dedicated infrastructure for AVs and enhanced infrastructure for mixed traffic (i.e., AVs on the same lanes with conventional vehicles) are the main alternatives so far. We utilize both alternatives and propose a unified mathematical framework for optimizing road networks for AVs by simultaneous deployment of AV-ready subnetworks for mixed traffic, dedicated AV links, and dedicated AV lanes. We model the problem as a bilevel network design problem where the upper level represents road infrastructure adjustment decisions to deploy these concepts and the lower level includes a network equilibrium model representing the flows as a result of the travelers’ response to new network topologies. An efficient heuristic solution method is introduced to solve the formulated problem and find coherent network topologies. Applicability of the model on real road networks is demonstrated using a large-scale case study of the Amsterdam metropolitan region. Our results indicate that for low AV market penetration rates (MPRs), AV-ready subnetworks, which accommodate AVs in mixed traffic, are the most efficient configuration. However, after 30% MPR, dedicated AV lanes prove to be more beneficial. Additionally, road types can dictate the viable deployment plan for certain parts of road networks. These insights can be used to guide planners in developing their strategies regarding road network infrastructure during the transition period to full automation.
- Network design problem
- Automated vehicles