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Local and network control strategies in a connected vehicle environment

Connected vehicle technology can be beneficial for traffic operations both at the local (i.e., intersection) and at the network level. The information provided by cars equipped with this technology can be used to design more efficient signal control strategies. Moreover, in the case of automated vehicles, it is also possible to control their speed trajectory with a centralized controller.
In this research, we focus on the future transition period, and propose new signal control algorithms for dealing with different types of technology (e.g., conventional, connected, and automated vehicles). The goal is to develop monitoring schemes, control algorithms, and management strategies that evolve as the proportion of vehicles with different levels of automation changes. Some features of these algorithms are further extended to the network level with a multi-scale optimization. The objective is to minimize congestion in an urban area through a perimeter control, while reducing delay at the perimeter intersections. To that end, we design a Model Predictive Control (MPC) based controller coupling the two competing control objectives and optimizing the performance at the local and the network level as a whole. To solve this highly non-linear optimization problem, we employ an approximation framework, enabling the optimal solution of this large-scale problem to be feasible and efficient. The MPC is later extended to a stochastic MPC in order to handle high system noises triggered by low levels of penetration rate of connected vehicles. This multi-scale optimization also benefits from on-going research on the Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram (MFD), relating the network density (or accumulation) of cars to the total network flow.

Type of Seminar:
Control Seminar Series
Prof. Mónica Menéndez
ETH Zurich
May 15, 2017   5.15pm

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Biographical Sketch:
Dr. Monica Menendez is, since 2010, the Director of the Research Group “Traffic Engineering” within the Institute for Transport Planning and Systems at ETH Zurich. Prior to that, she was a Management Consultant at Bain & Company. She joined Bain after receiving a Ph.D. and a M.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley in 2006. During her studies there she received, among other awards, an “NSF Fellowship”, the “Gordon F. Newell Award”, and the “Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award”. In total, she is the recipient of more than 20 scholarships and awards from well-known and prestigious organizations, professional societies, and universities. Dr. Menendez also holds a dual degree in Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering from the University of Miami, from where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2002. Her research interests include traffic flow theory, multimodal operations and control; traffic modeling and micro-simulation; and sustainable transportation. She is the author of over 35 peer-reviewed journal papers and over 100 articles in conference proceedings and technical reports. Additionally, she is a technical reviewer for over 15 professional journals and other scientific organizations; and an active member of over 10 committees, national and international organizations.