Optimizing traffic flow efficiency by controlling lane changes: collective, group and user optima

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Lane changes can lead to disturbances in traffic flow, whilst the uneven distribution of traffic over different lanes as a result of lane changes can also lead to instabilities and congestion on one specific lane. Therefore, giving advice on lane change can be beneficial for both individual drivers and traffic state in the network. However, there are many variations in advice content and objective, all of which may impact the performance of advice. This paper focuses on the optimization of traffic flow through the performance of specific lane changes. The authors model traffic flow on a two-lane stretch and consider lane-change time instants of a subset of vehicles as decision variables. Optimizations with three objectives are constructed: reaching a collective optimum, a group optimum and a user optimum. These optima are found by total travel delay minimization of different vehicle groups. To solve the problems, a genetic algorithm as a heuristic method is implemented. Each optimum leads to different lane changes. Specifically, by the proposed algorithm, vehicles will be suggested to change lanes in bigger gaps to improve collective or group efficiency; while they are supposed to overtake as many vehicles as they can by changing lanes for their own benefit. The algorithm can be further extended to a more effective in-car advice system, which can improve traffic efficiency for future situations through communicating partly automated vehicles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board: Transportation Innovation: Leading the Way in an Era of Rapid Change - Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, United States
Duration: 8 Jan 201712 Jan 2017
Conference number: 96


Conference96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board
Abbreviated titleTRB 96th anual meeting
CountryUnited States
OtherThe meeting program will cover all transportation modes, with more than 5,000 presentations in over 800 sessions and workshops, addressing topics of interest to policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions
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