Integrated Traffic Flow Control in a Connected Network

As more information related technologies are implemented on vehicles the connectivity of vehicles with infrastructure is becoming a reality in the near future. Connectivity will provide the vital information and measurements that are needed in order to effectively control traffic flow especially during incidents. Connectivity is what is going to bring a revolution in managing traffic and reducing congestion. This opportunity has been overshadowed by the excitement on autonomous vehicles whose purpose is to get rid of the Driver when the vehicle will still remain on the road and continue to contribute to congestion as the demand increases. While an autonomous vehicle may get rid of inefficiencies on the vehicle level that are due to human operations, traffic flow in highways and/or arterial roads has its own dynamics that need to be handled on the system level. The purpose of this project is to analyze the dynamics of traffic flow especially during incidents and bottlenecks where these dynamics are excited and create the congestion phenomena observed in practice, and come up with techniques to better control traffic flow. While the techniques the research team plan to develop can be applied in today's system, connectivity such as vehicle to infrastructure communication and/or vehicle to vehicle communication will allow the realization of their full benefits. Building on very promising preliminary results the team plans to develop lane change and variable speed controllers which will integrate with ramp metering control and traffic light controllers in order to better control traffic flow especially during incidents and bottlenecks. The preliminary results are based on treating all lanes in a highway as having the same density and traffic flow. In this project, the team plans to model the flow in each lane separately and allow different flow characteristics in each lane. This model is more appropriate for highway lanes where the volume of trucks is relatively high and tends to concentrate on the slow lanes. The team plans to use the cell transmission model and triangular fundamental diagram, that was proven adequate in the previous studies for control design purposes, to model the flow in each lane. The team will then use the model to develop variable speed limit controllers which will integrate with ramp metering and lane change controllers. The team plans to use a spatial model for developing lane change controllers using an optimization procedure rather than the preliminary adhoc method the team used in previous studies. The lane change controller will generate commands for drivers to change lanes before reaching the incident or bottleneck in order to maximize throughput and reduce congestion. The team plans to use a validated microscopic traffic simulation model of I-710 where the volume of trucks is relatively high in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed integrated control techniques during incidents on travel time, safety and environmental impact. The team plans to expand the model to include arterial roads and evaluate the interaction of the proposed integrated traffic flow control techniques with traffic light control in order to make sure that benefits generated on the highway are not at the expense of creating more congestion on the arterial roads.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $100000
    • Contract Numbers:

      Project #: MT-17-0-2

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      METRANS Transportation Center

      University of Southern California
      Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089-0626

      Pacific Southwest Region 9 UTC

      650 Childs Way
      Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Feldman, Doug

    • Principal Investigators:

      Ioannou, Petros

    • Start Date: 20180101
    • Expected Completion Date: 20181231
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01652391
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research
    • Contract Numbers: Project #: MT-17-0-2
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Nov 20 2017 10:33AM