Rise of Connected Autonomous Vehicles Will Require New Models for Managing Traffic

Future roads will likely carry autonomous vehicles that communicate with one another in a system where vehicles relay information — like destination, speed, or upcoming lane change — and then receive real-time feedback about decisions like route changes necessary to avoid traffic.

Such an intelligent connected vehicle system could vastly improve mobility and safety, while reducing congestion and emissions from vehicles idling in traffic, but it will also add significant complexity to already dynamic traffic patterns, making vehicle flow vulnerable to instability.