Pay for Intersection Priority: A Free Market Mechanism for Connected Vehicles

Dianchao Lin, Saif Eddin Jabari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rapid development and deployment of vehicle technologies offer opportunities to re-think the way traffic is managed. This article capitalizes on vehicle connectivity and proposes an economic instrument and corresponding cooperative framework for allocating priority at intersections. The framework is compatible with a variety of existing intersection control approaches. Similar to free markets, our framework allows vehicles to trade their time based on their (disclosed) value of time. We design the framework based on transferable utility games, where winners (time buyers) pay losers (time sellers) in each game. We conduct simulation experiments of both isolated intersections and an arterial setting. The results show that the proposed approach benefits the majority of users when compared to other mechanisms both ones that employ an economic instrument and ones that do not. We also show that it drives travelers to estimate their value of time correctly, and it naturally dissuades travelers from attempting to cheat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5138-5149
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • Intersection operations
  • connected vehicles
  • cooperative games
  • direct-transaction
  • economic instruments
  • side payment
  • value of time (VOT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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