Space distribution method for autonomous vehicles at a signalized multi-lane intersection

Tung Thanh Phan, Dong Ngo Duy, Long Bao Le

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Under the connected vehicle environment, autonomous vehicles (AVs) could bring numerous advantages including: improving the traffic flow, enhancing safety and alleviating air pollution. However, optimally operating AVs at signalized multi-lane intersections is a challenging problem due to the complex interaction of vehicles between lanes. It is thus a desire to manage and control the dynamics of AVs at signalized multi-lane intersections. To this end, this paper puts forward a bi-level control framework to optimize the intersection throughput. In our proposed method, the upper level (i.e. the intersection controller) is used to optimize the lane usages of each approach and the AVs' positions. In contrast, the lower level (i.e. the vehicle controllers) receives information from the upper level to control the AVs to get the maximum speed. More specifically, in the upper level, we apply a novel Space Distribution Method (SDM) for the AVs to maximize the throughput (i.e. a number of AVs) of the (multi-lane) intersection where signal timings are predefined. The SDM is divided into three steps: i) platoon formulation; ii) lane-mode optimization; and iii) AVs' position distribution. To maximize the throughput, the intersection controller receives information about the states of the AVs (e.g. the trajectories), then optimizes the lane usages for each approach, the desired speed, and the gap of the AVs as well as the AV's position along the approach. After that, each AV which is allowed to cross the intersection will determine its own trajectory and travel with the scheduled time without crash. Numerical simulations are set up to show that the throughput increases significantly, even more than twice of the throughput obtained from other methods in some circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5283-5294
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomous vehicles (AVs)
  • intersection controller (IC)
  • lane-mode
  • platoon
  • space distribution method (SDM)
  • throughput
  • vehicle controllers (VCs)

Cite this