Variable Speed Limit Control for Severe Non-Recurrent Freeway BottlenecksAuthor/Presenter: Chen, Danjue; Ahn, Soyoung
Variable speed limit (VSL) schemes are developed based on the Kinematic Wave theory to increase discharge rates at severe freeway bottlenecks induced by non-recurrent road events such as incidents or work zones while smoothing speed transition. The main control principle is to restrict upstream demand (in free-flow) progressively to achieve three important objectives: (i) to provide gradual speed transition at the tail of an event-induced queue, (ii) to clear the queue around the bottleneck, and (iii) to discharge traffic at the stable maximum flow that can be sustained at the bottleneck without breakdown. These control objectives are accomplished without imposing overly restrictive speed limits. We further provide remedies for (a) underutilized bottleneck capacity due to underestimated stable maximum flow and (b) a re-emergent queue at the bottleneck due to an overestimated stable maximum flow. We analytically formulate the reductions in total delay in terms of control parameters to provide an insight into the system performance and sensitivity. The results from the parameter analysis suggest that significant delay savings can be realized with the proposed VSL control strategies.