Author(s): Maria Espinosa
Student Paper Competition: 1st Place
Automated vehicles (AVs) are expected to offer great benefits by potentially reducing crashes.
The safety at signalized intersections is influenced by several factors, one of them being the
driving behavior. By introducing AVs on the roads, the unpredictability of this factor will
potentially decrease and eventually, reduce crashes. By using micro-simulation, it was possible
to use simulated traffic conflicts as indicators of potential crashes, to analyze the potential safety
of signalized intersections in the presence of automated vehicles. The objective was to compare
crash frequency for signalized intersections at various AVs penetration levels (0%, 50%, and
100%) by using prediction models that relate crashes to conflicts. Furthermore, the effect on
crashes by introducing a hypothetical left turn protection treatment was also evaluated. The
results indicated that intersection safety may improve in the presence of AVs. However, the
safety effects of treatments may be reduced compared to the effects with no AVs.