Impact of autonomous vehicles on traffic efficiency and emissions at a freeway off-ramp

Mehmet Nedim Yavuz, Halit Ozen


In the last few years, autonomous vehicle technology has become increasingly popular in both the academic and private sectors due to its potential to change the existing transportation networks. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of autonomous vehicles in terms of traffic efficiency and emissions over a hypothetical freeway network with an off-ramp. To this end, an open-source simulation tool, Eclipse SUMO, is utilized, considering the varying traffic demand levels and penetration rates of AVs. Total travel time is used as an indicator of traffic efficiency. Also, traffic emissions (CO, HC, and NOx) are utilized as comparison outputs. As a result of this study, AVs provide improvements in traffic efficiency. When the volume of traffic reaches the capacity of the road, this beneficial effect becomes more obvious. However, the increase in penetration rate of AVs when traffic volume reaches the capacity of the road leads to more traffic emissions.

Full Text:



S. Zong, "How Connected Autonomous Vehicles Would Affect Our World? -A Literature Review on the Impacts of CAV on Road Capacity, Environment and Public Attitude." MATEC Web of Conferences. Vol. 296. EDP Sciences, 2019.

S. Hörl, F. Ciari, & K.W. Axhausen, “Recent perspectives on the impact of autonomous vehicles”, Arbeitsberichte Verkehrs-und Raumplanung, 1216, 2016.

SAE, Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Driving Automation Systems for On-Road Motor Vehicles; SAE International: Warrendale, PA, USA, 2021.

Q. Lu, T. Tettamani, D. Hörcher, &I. Varga, “The impact of autonomous vehicles on urban traffic network capacity: an experimental analysis by microscopic traffic simulation”, Transportation Letters, 12(8), 540-549, 2020.

M.M. Morando, Q. Tian, L.T. Truong, & H. L. Vu, “Studying the safety impact of autonomous vehicles using simulation-based surrogate safety measures”, Journal of Advanced Transportation, 2018.

F. E. Asadi, K.A. Anwar, & J. C. Miles. “Investigating the potential transportation impacts of connected and autonomous vehicles”, In 2019 IEEE International Conference on Connected Vehicles and Expo (ICCVE) (pp. 1-6). IEEE, 2019.

M. M. Morando, Q. Tian, L. T. Truong, and H. L. Vu, “Studying the Safety Impact of Autonomous Vehicles Using Simulation-Based Surrogate Safety Measures,” Journal of Advanced Transportation, vol. 2018, pp. 1–11, 2018, doi: 10.1155/2018/6135183.

S. Maryam Mousavi, D. Lord, B. Dadashova, and S. Reza Mousavi, “Can autonomous vehicles enhance traffic safety at unsignalized intersections?” International Conference on Transportation and Development, 2020.

A. Papadoulis, M. Quddus, and M. Imprialou, “Evaluating the safety impact of connected and autonomous vehicles on motorways,” Accident Analysis & Prevention, vol. 124, pp. 12–22, Mar. 2019, doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2018.12.019.

A. P. Carrone, J. Rich, C. A. Vandet, and K. An, “Autonomous vehicles in mixed motorway traffic: capacity utilization, impact and policy implications,” Transportation, 2021, doi: 10.1007/s11116-020-10154-4.

R. Nippold, P. Wagner, O. A. Banse Bueno, and C. Rakow, “Investigation of the effect of autonomous vehicles (AV) on the capacity of an urban transport network,” SUMO Conference Proceedings, vol. 2, pp. 53–65, Jun. 2022, doi: 10.52825/scp.v2i.87.

A. D. Beza, M. Maghrour Zefreh, and A. Torok, “Impacts of Different Types of Automated Vehicles on Traffic Flow Characteristics and Emissions: A Microscopic Traffic Simulation of Different Freeway Segments,” Energies, vol. 15, no. 18, p. 6669, Sep. 2022, doi: 10.3390/en15186669.

J. Conlon and J. Lin, “Greenhouse Gas Emission Impact of Autonomous Vehicle Introduction in an Urban Network,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, vol. 2673, no. 5, pp. 142–152, Apr. 2019, doi: 10.1177/0361198119839970.

P. Papantoniou, V. Kalliga, and C. Antoniou, “How Autonomous Vehicles May Affect Vehicle Emissions on Motorways,” Advances in Mobility-as-a-Service Systems, pp. 296–304, Nov. 2020, doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-61075-3_29.

M. Makridis, K. Mattas, C. Mogno, B. Ciuffo, and G. Fontaras, “The impact of automation and connectivity on traffic flow and CO2 emissions. A detailed microsimulation study,” Atmospheric Environment, vol. 226, p. 117399, Apr. 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2020.117399.

S. Alazzawi, M. Hummel, P. Kordt, T. Sickenberger, C. Wieseotte, & O. Wohak, “Simulating the impact of shared, autonomous vehicles on urban mobility-a case study of Milan”, EPiC Series in Engineering, 2, 94-110, 2018.

Xie, H., Tanin, E., Karunasekera, S., Qi, J., Zhang, R., Kulik, L., & Ramamohanarao, K. (2019, November). Quantifying the impact of autonomous vehicles using microscopic simulations. In Proceedings of the 12th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Computational Transportation Science (pp. 1-10).

H. Yu, S. Tak, M. Park, and H. Yeo, “Impact of Autonomous-Vehicle-Only Lanes in Mixed Traffic Conditions,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, vol. 2673, no. 9, pp. 430–439, May 2019, doi: 10.1177/0361198119847475.

C. Stogios, D. Kasraian, M. J. Roorda, and M. Hatzopoulou, “Simulating impacts of automated driving behavior and traffic conditions on vehicle emissions,” Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, vol. 76, pp. 176–192, Nov. 2019, doi: 10.1016/j.trd.2019.09.020.

Lopez, P. A., Behrisch, M., Bieker-Walz, L., Erdmann, J., Flötteröd, Y. P., Hilbrich, R., ... & Wießner, E. (2018, November). Microscopic traffic simulation using sumo. In 2018 21st international conference on intelligent transportation systems (ITSC) (pp. 2575-2582). IEEE.

M. Treiber, A. Hennecke, and D. Helbing, “Congested traffic states in empirical observations and microscopic simulations,” Physical Review E, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 1805–1824, Aug. 2000, doi: 10.1103/physreve.62.1805

J. Erdmann, “Lane-changing model in SUMO”, Proceedings of the SUMO2014 modeling mobility with open data, 24, 77-88, 2014.

E. Mintsis, L. Luecken, K. Porfyri, D. Koutras, X. Zhang, M. Rondinone, &E. Mitsakis, “TransAID Deliverable 3.1-Modelling, simulation and assessment of vehicle automations and automated vehicles' driver behavior in mixed traffic”,2018.

Available: [Accessed Sept.10,2022].

K.N. Porfyri, E. Mintsis, & E. Mitsakis, “Assessment of ACC and CACC systems using SUMO.” EPiC Series in Engineering, 2, 82-93, 2018.

O. Kavas-Torris, N. Lackey, and L. Guvenc, “Simulating the Effect of Autonomous Vehicles on Roadway Mobility in a Microscopic Traffic Simulator,” International Journal of Automotive Technology, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 713–733, May 2021, doi: 10.1007/s12239-021-0066-7.

A. Karbasi and S. O’Hern, “Investigating the Impact of Connected and Automated Vehicles on Signalized and Unsignalized Intersections Safety in Mixed Traffic,” Future Transportation, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 24–40, Jan. 2022, doi: 10.3390/futuretransp2010002.

D. Krajzewicz, M. Behrisch, P. Wagner, R. Luz, & M. Krumnow, “Second generation of pollutant emission models for SUMO”, In Modeling mobility with open data (pp. 203-221). Springer, Cham, 2015.

H. Chen, H. Zhou, & P.S. Lin, “Freeway deceleration lane lengths effects on traffic safety and operation”, Safety science, 64, 39-49, 2014.

E. Aria, J. Olstam, and C. Schwietering, “Investigation of Automated Vehicle Effects on Driver’s Behavior and Traffic Performance,” Transportation Research Procedia, vol. 15, pp. 761–770, 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.trpro.2016.06.063.

M.N. Yavuz, H. Özen, “Performance of Autonomous Vehicles on a Bottleneck: A Simulation Study with SUMO”, 2nd International Congress of Engineering and Natural Sciences (ICENSS 2022), May 07-09 2022 Ankara/Turkey, pp 353-363.

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Selcuk University Journal of Engineering Sciences (SUJES) ISSN:2757-8828

Abstracting and indexing

Index Copernicus International


Selcuk university journal of engineering sciences (Online)

ICI World of Journals


Eurasian Scientific Journal Index