Automated Vehicles for Sustainable Cities: Field Experiments and Future Outlooks in Los Angeles

Project Summary

The transportation sector is essential to economic productivity and quality of life. In 2013, it accounted for 27 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation accounts for millions of deaths and injuries each year in the U.S., in addition to significant air particulates and noise pollution in Los Angeles County. Automated vehicles and associated innovations are rapidly evolving and may soon revolutionize the transportation sector. A myriad of direct benefits of automated vehicles include accident prevention, denser but smoother traffic -- thus fewer emissions -- better service to those challenged by driving and easier or driverless parking. This study has two main objectives: First, to put an existing automated vehicle prototype on Los Angeles County streets to document its effects on greenhouse gas emissions and sustainable transportation -- experimenting with automated vehicle mileage runs with the embedded, low-cost high-performance LiDAR sensor chips advanced at UCLA, and second, to employ interdisciplinary learning and an analysis of the data collected in the first task to advance the understanding of automated vehicle technology and its impact on transportation. These objectives provide new knowledge on the automated vehicle impact on LA-specific greenhouse gas emissions and road congestion to inform sustainable transportation evolution.

Research Team

Chee Wei Wong
Electrical Engineering, Samueli School of Engineering

Rui Wang
Urban Planning, Luskin School of Public Affairs

Other Information of Interest