Control Strategies for Mitigating Traffic Shock Waves Utilizing Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

In this thesis, an optimal control strategy to mitigate shock waves in traffic streams consisting of connected and autonomous vehicles is developed and compared against a that of a proportional controller. First, the formation of traffic shock waves is explained with the help of mathematical modeling and numerical simulation. Further, an optimal control problem to mitigate shock waves on a circular track consisting of connected and autonomous vehicles is formulated. The optimal control problem is solved using linear quadratic tracking controller using the variational approach. We use entropy to measure the effectiveness of connected and autonomous vehicles to reduce traffic shock waves (stop-and-go) waves on a circular track, thereby increasing throughput and reducing emissions. An optimal control law is also developed to minimize the error of the headway between vehicles in a platoon.