||Due to the increasing number of vehicles and
the increasing demand for mobility, transportation problems
in and around large cities are becoming more and more
acute every day.
Traffic jams do not only
costs due to unproductive time losses;
they also augment the possibility of accidents
and have a negative impact
on the environment (air pollution, increased fuel consumption)
and on the quality of life (noise, stress).
Since traffic congestion
is such a pressing problem,
there certainly is a need
for measures that can be implemented
on the short term. One of the short term measures
that can be taken to solve the traffic congestion problem -
or, at least, to alleviate it -
is to augment the capacity of the existing
infrastructure by regulating
and redirecting the traffic flow.
We distinguish between traffic on (urban) intersections
and traffic on highways.
In this proposal both directions are considered
and depending on the interests of the student
one of the following topics can be selected:
- modeling and control of traffic flows in and around cities
More specifically we are interested in investigating the
influence of better traffic light control policies on
controlling or preventing traffic jams in urban environments.
First we shall derive models that describe the number of
vehicles in the different lanes at an intersection or in a network
of intersections as a function of time, the traffic light
switching scheme, the number of vehicles that enter or leave
the city, wheather conditions,
etc. Next we shall use this model to develop optimal
traffic light control strategies that aim at minimizing
objective functions such as average queue length, average
waiting time, worst case waiting time, and so on.
As a first case study we have the situation in and around Delft in
- modeling and control of traffic flows on highways
Here we shall also start by developing a model that
describes the traffic flows on the highway. Next we
shall investigate how control measures such as
information panels, variable message signs,
ramp metering, velocity etc. can be used optimally
to decrease the lengths and the frequency of occurrence
of traffic jams.