P. Breton, A. Hegyi, B. De Schutter, and H. Hellendoorn, "Shock wave elimination/reduction by optimal coordination of variable speed limits," Proceedings of the IEEE 5th International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC'02), Singapore, pp. 225-230, Sept. 2002.
We present a model predictive control (MPC) approach to optimally coordinate variable speed limits for highway traffic. The basic idea is that dynamic speed limits can create traffic conditions where shock waves can damp out faster. The control objective is to minimize the total time that vehicles spend in the network. For the prediction of the evolution of the traffic flows in the network we use an adapted version of the METANET model that takes the variable speed limits into account. The coordinated control results in a network with less congestion, a higher outflow, and a lower total time spent. In addition, the receding horizon approach of MPC results in an adaptive, on-line control strategy that automatically takes changes in the system parameters into account.