Wednesday, 13 October 2004 - 5:10 PM

This presentation is part of : Rajagopal Symposium

Automatic Vehicle Following and modeling the dynamics of the flow of traffic

Swaroop Darbha and Rajagopal K. R. Texas A&M University, 313 Engineering Physics Builing, College Station, TX 77843-3123

Automated vehicle following technologies have been demonstrated to be feasible in the past decade. The design of an automated vehicle following system has a significant impact on the dynamics of the flow of traffic. The flow of traffic is usually described using a continuum approach as that of a compressible fluid, a statistical approach via the kinetic theory of gases or cellular automata models. These approaches are not suitable for modeling dynamical systems such as traffic. While such systems are large collections, they are not large enough to be treated as a continuum. We provide a rationale for why they cannot be appropriately described using a continuum model, the kinetic theory of gases, or by appealing to cellular automata models. As an alternative, we develop a discrete dynamical systems approach that is particularly well suited to describe the dynamics of large systems such as traffic. The approach is via developing the concept of a limit of a collection of dynamical systems that serves as a ``representative'' system for the large collection.

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