Coexistence of up- and downstream traffic waves on a ring road
Mathematics Department, University of Patras, 26500 Patras, Greece
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Received: 28 March 2016
Revised: 26 July 2016
Published online: 30 September 2016
It is an observational fact that density waves in vehicle traffic can move in either direction: small-amplitude waves travel in the same direction as the cars (downstream) whereas high-amplitude waves or “jams” travel in the opposite direction (upstream). We construct a model of ring road traffic to demonstrate how this comes about. Our model shows the spontaneous generation of these density waves, explains their stability properties, and pinpoints the precise density level at which the wave speed changes direction.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2016