Skip to main content
No Access

Development of an autonomous vehicle highway merging strategy

Published Online:pp 350-368

In this paper, we propose a highway merging method to enhance vehicle autonomy in the highway travelling. The proposed decision making algorithm includes a Modified Intelligent Driver Model (MIDM) based vehicle distance adjustment and path prediction for collision avoidance. In order to maximise the safety and driving efficiency, a time optimal target is selected when the front and rear gap conditions that secure the merging safety are not satisfied. The suggested algorithm is implemented by a lane change manoeuvre and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) that are based on a control strategy inspired by the brain limbic system. In order to demonstrate the performance of the suggested merging strategy, the concept of Level of Service (LOS) is utilised in the simulations.


highway merging, path prediction, MIDM, modified intelligent driver model


  • 1. Abe, M. , Manning, W. (2009). Vehicle Handling Dynamics: Theory and Application. Oxford, UK:Butterworth-Heinemann Google Scholar
  • 2. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) (2001). Policy on Geometric Design of highways and Streets. Washington, DC Google Scholar
  • 3. Bageshwar, V.L. , Garrard, W.L. , Rajamani, R. (2004). ‘Model predictive control of transitional maneuvers for adaptive cruise control vehicles’. IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. 53, 5, 1573-1585 Google Scholar
  • 4. Balkenius, C. , Moren, J. (2001). ‘Emotional learning: a computational model of the amygdala’. Cybernetics and Systems. 32, 6, 611-636 Google Scholar
  • 5. Girault, A. (2004). ‘A hybrid controller for autonomous vehicles driving on automated highways’. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies. 12, 6, 421-452 Google Scholar
  • 6. Hatipoglu, C. , Ozguner, U. , Redmill, K.A. (2003). ‘Automated lane change controller design’. IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems. 4, 1, 13-22 Google Scholar
  • 7. Helbing, D. (2001). ‘Traffic and related self-driven many-particle systems’. Reviews of Modern Physics. 73, 4, 1067-1141 Google Scholar
  • 8. Transportation Research Board (2000). Highway Capacity Manual . Washington, DC:National Research Council Google Scholar
  • 9. Kanaris, A. , Kosmatopoulos, E.B. , Ioannou, P.A. (2002). ‘Strategies and spacing requirements for lane changing and merging in automated highway systems’. IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. 50, 6, 1568-1581 Google Scholar
  • 10. Kim, C. , Langari, R. (2011a). ‘Brain limbic system-based intelligent controller application to lane change manoeuvre’. Vehicle System Dynamics. 49, 12, 1873-1894 Google Scholar
  • 11. Kim, C. , Langari, R. (2011b). ‘Application of brain limbic system to adaptive cruise control’. International Journal of Vehicle Autonomous Systems. (to be published) Google Scholar
  • 12. Lu, X.Y. , Tan, H.S. , Shladover, S.E. , Hedrick, J.K. (2004). ‘Automated vehicle merging maneuver implementation for AHS’. Vehicle System Dynamics. 41, 2, 85-107 Google Scholar
  • 13. Moren, J. , Balkenius, C. (2000). ‘A computational model of emotional learning in the amygdala’. Proceeding of 6th International Conference on the Simulation of Adaptive Behavior. Cambridge, Mass:The MIT Press Google Scholar
  • 14. Najm, W. , et al. (1995). ‘Synthesis Report: Examination of Target Vehicular Crashes and Potential ITS Countermeasures. NHTSA, US. Department of Transportation, Report DOT-HS-808-263 Google Scholar
  • 15. Santhanakrishnan, K. , Rajamani, R. (2003). ‘On spacing policies for highway vehicle automation’. Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Transactions on. 4, 4, 198-204 Google Scholar
  • 16. Swaroop, D. , Hedrick, J. (1999). ‘Constant spacing strategies for platooning in automated highway systems’. Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control. 121, 462-470 Google Scholar
  • 17. Swaroop, D. , Huandra, R. (1998). ‘Intelligent cruise control system design based on a traffic flow specification’. Vehicle System Dynamics. 30, 5, 319-344 Google Scholar
  • 18. Tan, H.S. , Guldner, J. , Chen, C. , Patwardhan, S. , Bougler, B. (2000). ‘Lane changing with look-down reference systems on automated highways’. Control Engineering Practice. 8, 9, 1033-1043 Google Scholar
  • 19. Taylor, C.J. , Košecká, J. , Blasi, R. , Malik, J. (1999). ‘A comparative study of vision-based lateral control strategies for autonomous highway driving’. The International Journal of Robotics Research. 18, 5, 442-453 Google Scholar
  • 20. Tigner, S.C. (1974). Operational Analysis and Improvements for Freeway Moving-merge Systems. Ann Arbor:University of Michigan Google Scholar
  • 21. Treiber, M. , Hennecke, A. , Helbing, D. (2000). ‘Congested traffic states in empirical observations and microscopic simulations’. Physical Review E. 62, 2, 1805-1824 Google Scholar
  • 22. Wang, Z. , Kulik, L. , Ramamohanarao, K. (2007). ‘Proactive traffic merging strategies for sensor-enabled cars’. The 4th ACM International Workshop on Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks, 10 September, New York, USA, 39-48 Google Scholar
  • 23. Wei, J. , Dolan, J.M. (2009). ‘A multi-level collaborative driving framework for autonomous vehicles’. The 18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 27 September–2 October, Toyama, Japan, 40-45 Google Scholar
  • 24. Wolf, M.T. , Burdick, J.W. (2008). ‘Artificial potential functions for highway driving with collision avoidance’. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 19–23 May, Pasadena, CA, 3731-3736 Google Scholar
  • 25. Yang, C. , Kurami, K. (1992). ‘Homing guidance of on-ramp vehicles for safe merging’. Proceedings American Control Conference. 24–26 June, Chicago, IL, USA, 1773-1776 Google Scholar