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Integrated feedback ramp metering and mainstream traffic flow control on motorways using variable speed limits

Carlson Rodrigo Castelan, Papamichail Ioannis, Papageorgiou Markos

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Year 2014
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
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Ramp metering (RM) is the most direct and efficient tool for the motorway traffic flow management. However, because of the usually short length of the on-ramps, RM is typically deactivated to avoid interference of the created ramp queue with adjacent street traffic. By the integration of local RM with mainstream traffic flow control (MTFC) enabled via variable speed limits (VSL), control operation upstream of active bottlenecks could be continued even if the on-ramp is full or if the RM lower bound has been reached. Such integration is proposed via the extension of an existing local cascade feedback controller for MTFC-VSL by use of a split-range-like scheme that allows different control periods for RM and MTFC-VSL. The new integrated controller remains simple yet efficient and suitable for field implementation. The controller is evaluated in simulation for a real motorway infrastructure (a ring-road) fed with real (measured) demands and compared to stand-alone RM or MTFC-VSL, both with feedback and optimal control results. The controller’s performance is shown to meet the specifications and to approach the optimal control results for the investigated scenario.

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