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Adaptive Cruise Control System Design And Its Impact on Traffic Flow

Rajesh Rajamani, David M. Levinson, Panos Michalopoulos, J. Wang, K. Santhanakrishnan, Xi Zhu
May 2005
Report no. CTS 05-01


This study resolves the controversy over the stability of constant time-gap policy for highway traffic flow. Previous studies left doubt as to the effectiveness of constant time-gap policies and whether they maintain stability in all traffic conditions. The results of this study prove that the constant timegap policy is in fact stable to a limit. At this limit, depending on the boundary conditions, conditions lose their stability. This study develops alternative ways to maintain the balance between safety and traffic flow for ACC vehicles that does not rely on constant time-gap policies. New spacing policies will create more stability, and therefore safer conditions, and allow for greater traffic capacity.

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