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August 28, 2012

Robotic Vehicles and Highway Capacity

An IEEE paper assessed the increase in highway capacity.

The increase in highway capacity when using sensors alone is about 43%.

The increase in highway capacity when using both sensors and vehicle to vehicle communication is about 273%.

Current maximum throughput is 2200 vehicles per hour per lane of highway.

Highway capacity increases was also analyzed by the California PATH program. Automation will allow shorter vehicle gaps and narrower spacing from more precise turning.

Platooning cars could get to 400% increase in highway capacity with 25% margin for merging. Longer platoons with smaller gaps enable higher capacity. The most capacity is not always needed and under most circumstances larger gaps and shorter platooning can be used. Platooning also allows the following cars to draft behind the lead vehicle in order to save on fuel.







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