Divergent Effects of Factors on Crash Severity under Autonomous and Conventional Driving Modes Using a Hierarchical Bayesian Approach

Influencing factors on crash severity involved with autonomous vehicles (AVs) have been paid increasing attention. However, there is a lack of comparative analyses of those factors between AVs and human-driven vehicles. To fill this research gap, the study aims to explore the divergent effects of factors on crash severity under autonomous and conventional (i.e., human-driven) driving modes. This study obtained 180 publicly available autonomous vehicle crash data, and 39 explanatory variables were extracted from three categories, including environment, roads, and vehicles. Then, a hierarchical Bayesian approach was applied to analyze the impacting factors on crash severity (i.e., injury or no injury) under both driving modes with considering unobserved heterogeneities. The results showed that some influencing factors affected both driving modes, but their degrees were different. For example, daily visitors' flowrate had a greater impact on the crash severity under the conventional driving mode. More influencing factors only had significant impacts on one of the driving modes. For example, in the autonomous driving mode, mixed land use increased the severity of crashes, while daytime had the opposite effects. This study could contribute to specifying more appropriate policies to reduce the crash severity of both autonomous and human-driven vehicles especially in mixed traffic conditions.

W. Ren, B. Yu, Y. Chen, and K. Gao
Research area
Safety performance evaluation
Publication type
Scientific journal paper
Published in
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Year of publication