Development of an Emission-based Selection Algorithm to Optimize Variable Message Signs Location

Variable message sign (VMS) is a key component of intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies, and more specifically, a real-time traveler information tool. Estimated travel time on freeways, corridor congestions, construction and maintenance schedules, special events instructions, and incident notifications can be conveyed through VMS. Previously, it was indicated that the highest performance gain and emission saving occur when the VMS locations are wisely selected. Therefore, this project will introduce and develop a transferable bi-level emission-based algorithm to select the optimal VMS locations within a network, which assures the environmental benefits in large-scale as well as saving money and time on finding the optimal locations. The integration of non-recurring congestion data into a simulation-based emission optimization algorithm and life-cycle cost analysis for the selection of optimal VMS locations are the unique features of this platform. The developed platform will finally be applied and tested in El Paso, Texas, and can benefit transportation agencies by facilitating the selection of optimal VMS locations, improving regional air quality, and reducing operational costs.