The price of anarchy for transportation networks with mixed autonomy

D. Lazar, S. Coogan, R. Pedarsani
American Control Conference, 2018


We study routing behavior in transportation net-works with mixed autonomy, that is, networks in which a fraction of the vehicles on each road are equipped with autonomous capabilities such as adaptive cruise control that enable reduced headways and increased road capacity. Motivated by capacity models developed for such roads with mixed autonomy, we consider transportation networks in which the delay on each road or link is an affine function of two quantities: the number of vehicles with autonomous capabilities on the link and the number of regular vehicles on the link.

We particularly study the price of anarchy for such networks, that is, the ratio of the total delay experienced by selfish routing to the socially optimal routing policy. Unlike the case when all vehicles are of the same type, for which the price of anarchy is known to be bounded, we first show that the price of anarchy can be arbitrarily large for such mixed autonomous networks. Next, we define a notion of asymmetry corresponding to the maximum possible travel time improvement due to the presence of autonomous vehicles. We show that when the degree of asymmetry of all links in the network is bounded by a factor less than 4, the price of anarchy is bounded. We also bound the bicriteria, which is a bound on the cost of selfishly routing traffic compared to the cost of optimally routing additional traffic. These bounds depend on the degree of asymmetry and recover classical bounds on the price of anarchy and bicriteria in the case when no asymmetry exists. Further, we show with examples that these bound are tight in particular cases.