Network-level control of heterogeneous automated traffic guaranteeing bus priority

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - car, place - urban, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, infrastructure - right of way, operations - traffic, operations - performance, technology - automatic vehicle monitoring, technology - intelligent transport systems


Rhythmic control, Heterogeneous traffic, Connected and automated vehicles, Bus priority


Guaranteeing the quality of transit service is of great importance to promote the attractiveness of buses and alleviate urban traffic issues such as congestion and pollution. Emerging technologies of automated driving and V2X communication have the potential to enable the accurate control of vehicles and the efficient organization of traffic to enhance both the schedule adherence of buses and the overall network mobility. This study proposes a novel network-level control scheme for heterogeneous automated traffic composed of buses and private cars under a full connected and automated environment. Inheriting the idea of network-level rhythmic control proposed by Lin et al. (2021b), an innovative rhythmic control scheme for heterogeneous traffic, i.e., RC-H, is established to organize the mixed traffic in a rhythmic manner. Realized virtual platoons are designed for accommodating vehicles to pass through the network, including dedicated virtual platoons for buses to provide exclusive right-of-ways (ROWs) on their trips and regular virtual platoons for private cars along with an optimal assignment plan to minimize the total travel cost. A mixed-integer linear program (MILP) is formulated to optimize the RC-H scheme with the objective of minimizing the weighted travel costs of both buses and private cars. A bilevel heuristic solution method is designed to relieve the computational burden of MILP. Numerical examples and simulation experiments are conducted to evaluate the performance of the RC-H scheme under different scenarios. The results show that the bus punctuality can be guaranteed and the traveler delay can be minimized under various demand levels with transit priority. Moreover, compared with traffic signal control (TSC) strategies, including those with fixed timing and those with bus priority, the RC-H scheme shows significant advantages in handling heavy traffic demand, in terms of both reducing vehicle delay and enhancing network throughput.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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