Dynamic Traffic Control Interventions for Enhanced Mobility and Economic Competitiveness

UTC Project Information

According to the latest Urban Mobility Report, U.S. urban motorists in 2011 traveled an additional 5.5 billion hours and purchased an extra 2.9 billion gallons of fuel as a result of congestion. The economic impact of degraded mobility has been estimated at $21 billion which is quickly eroding the nation’s economic competitiveness. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that about half of all congestion delays are caused by non-recurrent congestion events, including incidents, weather, work zones, demand surges, and inadequate base capacity. Yet methods for assessing the effectiveness of active traffic management (ATM) strategies aimed at improving mobility are still rooted at a planning level approach rather than the operational levels of implementation.

This research is intended to develop efficient methods that dynamically evaluate the current traffic system performance, propose interventions that can ameliorate the performance as needed, and implement and re-evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. To enable real progress in this arena, the focus will be on active traffic management techniques and their application on freeway facilities. In fact, this research is an early attempt at modeling “active” traffic management in real-time by actually intervening at the right time and place to improve the system performance.

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