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Laminar traffic flows and dynamic hard shoulder utilization

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There is an ongoing contest of ideas for reducing urban traffic congestions, called ‘ITS Congestion Challenge‘. The submission is open for all, and judging ideas is through community method, so this may give a sense of what solution is favored by the general public. The idea entry is open till end of July, and ranking will be done during August. The best ranked idea will emerge in September, the winner will be announced at the Stockholm ITS World Congress.

Proposed solutions can be viewed and voted through following link, after registering:
http://www.vencorps.com

Traffic flows are greatly enhanced when unnecessary lane changes are eliminated and the hard shoulder is safely taken into use during peak hours. This results in better use of existing infrastructure. Analogy: smooth and turbulent flow of air.

BroadBit a submitted a proposal to this challenge called ‘Laminar traffic flows and dynamic hard shoulder utilization’, which promotes better use of existing urban roads through intelligent sensor infrastructure. Vote it if you like it.

The video illustration of BroadBit solution resulting in smoother traffic flow and less congestions.

This concept has been submitted to the Congestion Challenge competition.

Intelligent infrastructure enables safe use of hard shoulders, and prevents skipping in and out of lanes.

Recent laser-scanner and powerline communication technologies make cost-efficient realization of this concept feasible.

Executive summary:

As first step, let’s consider what happens on urban roads before congestion arises:

  1. Different lanes develop different speeds. Some cars switch lanes as they hunt for fastest lane, hindering everyone else during the merging.
  2. Some cars switch more than one lane as they head to a highway exit from an inner lane, causing more hold-up than a foresighted driver.
  3. At some critical point the free-flow pauses, and later restarts. On hard-shouldered highways the outermost emergency lane is left unused during all these congestions because of safety regulations – except for occasional rogue drivers zipping by. There surely must be a way to make better use of this under-utilized road surface – and without incurring any safety risks.

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Written by BroadBit

July 22nd, 2009 at 9:40 am