B. De Schutter, T. Bellemans, S. Logghe, J. Stada, B. De Moor, and B. Immers, "Advanced traffic control on highways," Journal A, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 42-51, Dec. 1999.
Due to the ever increasing need for transportation, there will be more and more traffic jams unless some far-reaching measures are taken. There are many possible ways to reduce congestion (such as building new roads, new pricing policies, shift of transport from road to train or ship, and so on). However, since traffic congestion is a pressing problem that has a serious impact on both the economy and the environment, there certainly is a need for measures that can be implemented on the short term. In this paper we discuss - from a systems and control point of view - some of the methods that can be used to reduce traffic congestion problems. We shall focus on highways and ring roads. First we briefly discuss the Automated Highway Systems (AHS) framework, which leads to a reduction of traffic congestion and to a better use of the available capacity of the transportation network. However, several obstacles still have to be overcome before AHS can be implemented on a large scale. Therefore, we will extensively discuss another, more readily implementable step towards the reduction of traffic congestion, namely the development of advanced traffic management systems (ATMS), which is the subject of a research project currently being carried out by the authors. ATMS use advanced modelling, simulation, optimisation and telecommunication techniques to generate and to implement various traffic policy measures to reduce traffic congestion.