New York City Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Explored Mobility and Environmental Impacts at Four Hypothetical Crash Locations Using Simulation Models.
Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program Independent Evaluation: Environmental Impact Assessment—New York City
Connected vehicle (CV) technologies offer great potential for safety improvements and mobility enhancements by utilizing advanced communications to share information between transportation system users and infrastructures. This study provided an independent assessment of the environmental impacts associated with the New York City (NYC) CV Pilot Deployment (CVPD) (2016-2020), conducted mainly in the Manhattan area and along Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. The NYC CVPD had the primary objective of developing and demonstrating the use of vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, and infrastructure-to-pedestrian communications to improve safety.
An existing microscopic simulation model of midtown Manhattan was re-calibrated to 2018 pre-deployment (pre-pandemic) conditions for a typical weekday morning, 6 AM to 9 AM, and afternoon, 3 PM to 7 PM peak periods. This pre-deployment model included unequipped automobiles, trucks, fixed-route and fixed-schedule transit vehicles, and typical operating constraints (e.g., parking restrictions) used by NYC DOT to manage traffic in the Manhattan area. Four hypothetical crash scenarios were simulated. Each scenario was simulated by creating a 30-minute blockage at select locations. These simulation results were then compared to the results of simulating the same conditions except without a lane-blocking event, basically representing normal network operations if the CV technology could prevent crashes from occurring. Throughput, total vehicle delay, and average travel time measures of network performance were collected at the local and system levels. Environmental benefits were assessed using the simulation analysis results to estimate the amount of fuel consumed while idling associated with the deployment. The reduction in greenhouse gas equivalents was calculated using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Greenhouse Emissions Calculator based on the fuel consumption savings by eliminating one collision at each location.
- Based on the results of the microsimulation, removing crashes from the network at the four selected locations improved vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by as much as 30 percent, vehicle hours traveled (VHT) by as much as 32 percent, and vehicle hours of delay (VHD) by as much as 50 percent. Removing crashes from the
network at these locations reduced total VHD by an average of 17.5 vehicle hours, representing a reduction ranging from 6 to 50 percent depending on the location.
- While not all these improvements can be attributed to the CV applications directly, the modeling results indicated potential mobility benefits if CV technologies are shown to successfully reduce crashes in a dense urban area such as Manhattan.
- The modeling results also estimated that by preventing one collision at each of the four hypothetical crash locations (four collisions in total), the NYC CVPD would save a total of 144.8 gallons of gasoline and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 1,287 kg.