Pricing traffic networks with mixed vehicle autonomy

Negar Mehr, Roberto Horowitz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In a traffic network, vehicles normally select their routes selfishly. Consequently, traffic networks normally operate at an equilibrium characterized by Wardrop conditions. However, it is well known that equilibria are inefficient in general. In addition to the intrinsic inefficiency of equilibria, the authors recently showed that, in mixed-autonomy networks in which autonomous vehicles maintain a shorter headway than human-driven cars, increasing the fraction of autonomous vehicles in the network may increase the inefficiency of equilibria. In this work, we study the possibility of obviating the inefficiency of equilibria in mixed-autonomy traffic networks via pricing mechanisms. In particular, we study assigning prices to network links such that the overall or social delay of the resulting equilibria is minimum. First, we study the possibility of inducing such optimal equilibria by imposing a set of undifferentiated prices, i.e. a set of prices that treat both human-driven and autonomous vehicles similarly at each link. We provide an example which demonstrates that undifferentiated pricing is not sufficient for achieving minimum social delay. Then, we study differentiated pricing where the price of traversing each link may depend on whether vehicles are human-driven or autonomous. Under differentiated pricing, we prove that link prices obtained from the marginal cost taxation of links will induce equilibria with minimum social delay if the degree of road capacity asymmetry (i.e. The ratio between the road capacity when all vehicles are human-driven and the road capacity when all vehicles are autonomous) is homogeneous among network links.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 American Control Conference, ACC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781538679265
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event2019 American Control Conference, ACC 2019 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: Jul 10 2019Jul 12 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Conference2019 American Control Conference, ACC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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