S.K. Zegeye, B. De Schutter, J. Hellendoorn, and E.A. Breunesse, "Variable speed limits for area-wide reduction of emissions," Proceedings of the 13th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC 2010), Madeira Island, Portugal, pp. 507-512, Sept. 2010.
Although traffic congestion is a pressing problem that drivers face every day, improving the traffic flow does not always create a healthy environment to the people residing in the neighborhood of the freeway. Improved traffic flow neither means efficient fuel consumption of the vehicles. Moreover, reduction of total emissions or travel times in a traffic network does not always guarantee reduction in the area-wide emission levels, because there are many other factors that affect the area-wide emissions. In particular, the direction and speed of wind are important factors that play a significant role in the area-wide emission levels. Therefore, in this paper, we systematically model the effect of wind on the area-wide emission levels and design a model-based traffic controller to reduce the dispersion of emissions. More specifically, a model predictive control (MPC) is used to integrate various variable speed limits in order to provide a balanced trade-off between the area-wide emissions and the travel times. Furthermore, we present a case study to demonstrate the proposed control approach.