Autonomous vehicles (AVs) movement in a narrower traffic lane and anticipated climate change are crucial for asphalt concrete (AC) pavement distress. This study assesses the combined effect of AVs and climate change on the performance of AC pavement for a road section in Ontario, Canada. The performance of AC pavement due to AVs and climate change has been evaluated using the AASHTOWare Mechanistic-Empirical (ME) pavement design. AVs were incorporated in ME pavement design using traffic factors such as adjusting traffic volume with the load equivalency and lane distribution factors. This analysis was carried out to determine the individual and combined influence of AVs and climate change on pavement performance. This study determines the combined impacts of AVs and climate change by comparing pavement performances for human-driven vehicles with historical climate and AVs with projected climate. The comparative performance analyses of human-driven vehicles and AVs with projected climate demonstrated the effect of climate change. AVs and climate change combinedly and AVs alone accelerate the accumulation of AC rutting and bottom-up fatigue cracking. The regulation of AVs explicitly to ensure uniform loading distribution and the placement of AVs with non-AVs in a controlled manner were the best alternatives to minimise pavement distress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanics of Materials