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Analytical Prediction of Self-Organized Traffic Jams as a Function of Increasing ACC Penetration

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2 Author(s)
Jerath, K. ; Dept. of Mech. & Nucl. Eng., Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA, USA ; Brennan, S.N.

Self-organizing traffic jams are known to occur in medium-to-high density traffic flows, and it is suspected that adaptive cruise control (ACC) may affect their onset in mixed human-ACC traffic. Unfortunately, closed-form solutions that predict the occurrence of these jams in mixed human-ACC traffic do not exist. In this paper, both human and ACC driving behaviors are modeled using the General Motors fourth car-following model and are distinguished by using different model parameter values. A closed-form solution that explains the impact of ACC on congestion due to the formation of self-organized traffic jams (or “phantom” jams) is presented. The solution approach utilizes the master equation for modeling the self-organizing behavior of traffic flow at a mesoscopic scale and the General Motors fourth car-following model for describing the driver behavior at the microscopic scale. It is found that, although the introduction of ACC-enabled vehicles into the traffic stream may produce higher traffic flows, it also results in disproportionately higher susceptibility of the traffic flow to congestion.

Published in:

Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 4 )