Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

Committee Director

Mecit Cetin

Committee Member

Sherif Ishak

Committee Member

Hong Yan


One of the designs for future highways with the flow of Connected Automated Vehicles (CAVs) cars will be a dedicated lane for the CAVs to form platoons and travel with higher speeds and lower headways. The connectivity will enable the formation of platoons of CAVs traveling beside non-platoon lanes. The advent of connectivity between vehicles and the infrastructure will enable advanced control strategies ̶ improving the performance of the traffic ̶ to be incorporated in the traffic system. The merge area in a multilane highway with CAVs is one of the sections which can be enhanced by the operation of a control system.

In this research, a model is developed for investigating the effects of a Rule Based control strategy yielding a more efficient and systematic method for the vehicles joining the highway mainlines comprised of platoon and non-platoon lanes. The actions tested for assisting the merge process included deceleration in the mainlines and lane change to join a platoon in the platoon lane. The model directs every CAV entering a multi-lane highway from an on-ramp, to the rightmost lane of the highway based on the appropriate action which is selected according to the traffic demand conditions and location of the on-ramp vehicle. To account for car following behavior, the vehicles in the platoon lanes are assumed to have a simplified CACC (cooperative adaptive cruise control) and those in the non-platoon lanes the IDM+ car-following model. The IDM+ car following model is modified with additional controls to incorporate the current technologies of Advanced Driver Assistant Systems (ADAS).

The results of this study showed that the proposed car following model can increase the throughput of the non-platoon lane from approximately 2000 vehicle per hour (vph) to 3400 vph while the platoon lanes each had an average throughput of 3500 vph. The merge model enabled higher merging throughput for the merge area compared to current day conditions and displayed the potential for improved traffic performance in a connected environment comprised of platoon and non-platoon lanes. The results of this research will help in the design and development of advanced systems for controlling on-ramp merge sections in the future with CAVs.