INFRAMIX research project: aims for the coexistence of conventional and AVs

INFRAMIX (Road INFRAstructure ready for MIXed vehicle traffic flows) is a part of the EU research and innovation programme HORIZON 2020. The project will be implemented by 11 partners in a timeframe of three years (from June 2017 to May 2020). Towards to a fully automated transport system, road infrastructure plays a major role in managing the transition period by making the introduction of automated vehicles on the roads faster, smoother, safer, socially acceptable and beneficial to all traffic participants. Therefore, INFRAMIX targets to enable the coexistence of automated and conventional vehicles by designing, upgrading, adapting and testing both physical and digital elements of the road infrastructure for specific traffic scenarios.

The key outcome will be a “hybrid” road infrastructure able to handle the transition period and become the basis for future automated transport systems. This should lead to an uninterrupted, predictable, safe and efficient traffic. Aiming to this target, the following objectives are set in the frame of INFRAMIX:

  • Develop new mixed traffic flow models combined with mature simulation tools, integrating real-vehicle algorithms for automated driving and human driver behaviour, to examine mixed traffic scenarios under various penetration rates of different levels of automated vehicles,
  • Establish hybrid testing of real vehicle and real digital infrastructure elements embedded into a virtual environment enabling detailed and realistic investigations in a complex but safe virtual traffic,
  • Develop and implement relevant traffic estimation and control algorithms,
  • Propose minimum, targeted and affordable adaptations on elements of the road infrastructure, either physical or digital or a combination of them,
  • Include ways of informing all types of vehicles about control commands issued by the road operator and propose new kinds of visual and electronic signals for mixed scenarios,
  • Provide a novel infrastructure classification scheme indicating the connectivity and automation capabilities of any specific road infrastructure as well as a guide of how to incrementally upgrade infrastructure to mixed traffic.

The implementation of the objectives will be driven by three crucial traffic scenarios designed based on the requirements of traffic efficiency and safety, “dynamic lane assignment”, “roadworks zones”, and “bottlenecks”. Relevant use-cases will be examined. This is accompanied by a user-oriented process throughout the project to achieve maximum user appreciation.

After extended analysis and simulation tests, the outcomes will be assessed in real stretches of advanced highways in Austria and Spain. Although INFRAMIX is addressing mainly highways, its key results may well be transferred to urban roads.

ICCS is the technical and innovation manager of the project. ICCS has also the key responsibility of creating consensus and designing an infrastructure classification scheme regarding “automation-appropriate” levels. This requires the identification of new safety performance criteria for road infrastructure. The safety performance, as well as user’s appreciation and acceptance, will be evaluated by ICCS in the three traffic scenarios for mixed traffic situations in a simulated environment as well as in real-world.

Source: I-SENSE