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Reducing Traffic Jams via VANETs

Author(s): Florian Knorr, Daniel Baselt, Michael Schreckenberg, Martin Mauve.
Title: Reducing Traffic Jams via VANETs
Published: IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology 61 (), pp. 3490-3498, 2012
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Abstract: A transition from free flow to congested traffic on highways often originates spontaneously and despite the fact that the road could satisfy a higher traffic demand. The reason for a such a traffic breakdown is perturbations caused by human drivers in dense traffic. We present a strategy to reduce traffic congestion with the help of vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Periodically emitted beacons are used to analyze traffic flow and to warn other drivers of a possible traffic breakdown. Drivers who receive such a warning are told to keep a larger gap to their predecessor. By doing so, they are less likely the source of perturbations which can cause a traffic breakdown. We analyze the proposed strategy via computer simulations and investigate which fraction of communicating vehicles is necessary until a beneficial influence on traffic flow is observable. We show that penetration rates of ten percent and less can have significant influence on traffic flow and travel times. Besides applying a realistic mobility model we further increase the degree of realism by the use of empirical traffic data from loop detectors on a German Autobahn.
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