Robotics Engineering Colloquium Series: Dr. Danjue Chen | Traffic Flow with Autonomous Vehicles - Insights from Empirical Evidence

1:30 pm February 8, 2023 to 4:30 am April 2, 2023
Floor/Room #
Dr. Danjue Chen

Robotics Engineering Colloquium Series

Dr. Danjue Chen, University of Massachusetts Lowel

Traffic Flow with Autonomous Vehicles - Insights from Empirical Evidence

Wednesday, February 8th,  2023
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Unity Hall | Room 520 

Abstract: The revolutionary automated vehicle (AV) technologies are increasingly being deployed around the world. The benefits of AVs are widely touted, and a lot of research, policies and decisions are based on that. This is very concerning, because those touted benefits lack the empirical ground, and the resulted policies/decisions can be misleading. This seminar will introduce our empirical studies on AVs to reveal how the AVs behave and how they impact traffic. We have studied AVs at different levels of automation, including L2 Tesla and L4 self-driving cars. It’s found that AVs are very different, across the automation level and the brand. Some AVs behave very aggressively, which lead to higher road capacities but destabilize traffic flow and cause safety hazard. Some other AVs behave similarly to human drivers but in a much more conservative way, which significantly diminish road capacity (by 20%) and compromise mobility. These studies show that there are fundamental limitations in current AVs, which call for innovative solutions to break the current paradox. Following that, we introduce our relevant efforts on the development of new AV controllers and the study of human-automation interactions, which are all critical to advance the AV technologies and enable the technologies to benefit the public.

Bio: Dr. Danjue Chen is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Dr. Chen had her PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology and her B.S. in environmental science from Peking University in China. Prior to UMass Lowell, she worked as a Researcher at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Chen's research interests include testing, modeling and control of connected and automated vehicles, traffic flow theory, human-cyber-physical-system of smart vehicles, and smart cities. Her research has been sponsored by NSF, USDOT, state DOTs, and the industry (e.g., Verizon). She received the NSF CAREER award in 2020.

Dr. Chen is a member of Transportation Research Board Committee on Traffic Flow Theory and Characteristics and a founding member of subcommittee on Connected Automated Traffic Flow. She has published about 30 papers in the top transportation journals, including Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, and Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems. She has received several best paper awards, including the Transportation Research Board Cunard Award. Dr. Chen serves in the editorial board of Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies. She has also served in various NSF and USDOT panels.



Robotics Engineering