Incorporating insights from signal optimization into reservation-based intersection controls

Eby Lukose, Michael W. Levin, Stephen D. Boyles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Reservation-based intersection control for autonomous vehicles has the potential to make greater use of intersection capacity. Indeed, previous studies on the first-come-first-served (FCFS) policy (which prioritizes vehicles by order of their reservation request) have shown improvements over optimized signals. However, in certain situations, such as asymmetric intersections, FCFS easily performs worse than signals. To address this issue, we propose two new reservation policies, WEIGHTED and PHASED. WEIGHTED weights vehicle delay by signal timings, and PHASED simulates a signal but allows red phase turning movements that will not cause a collision. We test these policies on a city network and an arterial bottleneck intersection subnetwork and show that PHASED performs better than WEIGHTED in some scenarios, and vice versa. Furthermore, we show that using a combination of PHASED and WEIGHTED can perform better than using either one alone for the entire network. Results show that these policies provide effective and easily implemented alternatives to FCFS for reservations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-264
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Intelligent Transportation Systems: Technology, Planning, and Operations
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Data-Supported Transportation Operations & Planning Center and the National Science Foundation, Grant No. 1254921.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Autonomous vehicles
  • intersection control
  • reservation-based
  • traffic signals


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