New periodically variable speed limits rule for highways with mathematical model and simulation

New periodically variable speed limits rule for highways with mathematical model and simulation

For access to this article, please select a purchase option:

Buy article PDF
(plus tax if applicable)
Buy Knowledge Pack
10 articles for $120.00
(plus taxes if applicable)

IET members benefit from discounts to all IET publications and free access to E&T Magazine. If you are an IET member, log in to your account and the discounts will automatically be applied.

Learn more about IET membership 

Recommend Title Publication to library

You must fill out fields marked with: *

Librarian details
Your details
Why are you recommending this title?
Select reason:
IET Intelligent Transport Systems — Recommend this title to your library

Thank you

Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

Variable speed limits (VSL) are used to balance traffic safety and transportation efficiency on the highway. However, driver satisfaction usually affects both aspects because human behaviour is an important factor in the traffic system. Therefore, this study aims to propose a VSL rule that combines traffic flow, risk level and driver satisfaction. First, the authors present a physical model of the lane-changing process, and the psychology of drivers when judging whether to change lanes is measured by mathematical expectation and membership functions. Considering the above three factors as target functions, a new VSL rule for two-lane highways and a periodic VSL rule for three-lane highways are formulated. Simulation results indicate that the rule for two-lane highways has good performance in the three aspects, but when it is extended to the three-lane situation, the driver satisfaction does not improve significantly. However, the periodic speed limit rule can help increase driver satisfaction. Therefore, the VSL rules that are proposed reveal a potentially highly effective way to improve the vehicle speed on the highway and advance rule making.


    1. 1)
      • 1. GDHS-5: ‘A policy on geometric design of highways and streets’ (AASHTO, Washington, D.C., 2004), pp. 75288.
    2. 2)
      • 2. Thanh, Q.L., Richard, J.P.: ‘Safety evaluation of geometric design criteria for spacing of entrance-Exit ramp sequence and use of auxiliary lanes’, Transp. Res. Rec., J. Transp. Res. Board., 2012, 2329, pp. 1220.
    3. 3)
      • 3. Wang, X., Yang, S., Mu, H., et al: ‘Research on reasonable speed limit segmentation method of mountainous expressway’, J. China Foreign Highw.., 2010, 30, (4), pp. 309312.
    4. 4)
      • 4. Semeida, A.M.: ‘Impact of highway geometry and posted speed on operating speed at multi-lane highways in Egypt’, J. Adv. Res., 2013, 4, (6), pp. 515523.
    5. 5)
      • 5. Transportation Research Board: ‘Highway capacity manual’ (National Research Council, Washington D.C., 2000).
    6. 6)
      • 6. Chen, J.: ‘Action and control of freeway variable speed signs’, J. Tongji Univ., 1993, 21, (3), pp. 387391.
    7. 7)
      • 7. Transportation Research Board: ‘Managing speed: review of current practice for setting and enforcing speed limits’ (National Research Council, Washington D.C., 1998).
    8. 8)
      • 8. Gan, H., Sun, L.: ‘A study on the variable speed limits technology for freeways’, Transp. Sci. Technol., 2004, 207, (6), pp. 9193.
    9. 9)
      • 9. Wan, J.: ‘Study on control strategies of highway variable speed limits system’. Master thesis of Southeast University, 2012.
    10. 10)
      • 10. Cremer, M.: ‘Verkehrsfluss auf schnellstrassen’ (Springer Verlag, Brelin, Germany, 1979).
    11. 11)
      • 11. Alessandri, A., Febbraro, A., Ferrara, A.: ‘Nonlinear optimization for freeway control using variable-speed signaling’, IEEE Trans. Veh. Technol., 1999, 48, (6), pp. 20422051.
    12. 12)
      • 12. Hegyi, A., Schutter, B., Hellendoom, J.: ‘Optimal coordination of variable speed limits to suppress shock waves’, IEEE Trans. Intell. Transp. Syst., 2005, 6, (1), pp. 102112.
    13. 13)
      • 13. Yadlapati, S.: ‘Development and testing of variable speed limit control logics for work zones using simulation’. Master thesis of Virginia University, 2003.
    14. 14)
      • 14. Borrough, P.: ‘Variable speed limits reduce accidents significantly in the U.K’, The Urban Transp. Monit., 1997.
    15. 15)
      • 15. O'Connor, T., Papanikolaou, V., Keogh, I.: ‘Safe surgery, the human factors approach’, The Surgeon, 2010, 8, (2), pp. 9395.
    16. 16)
      • 16. Torday, A., Bierlaire, M.: ‘PAPABILITS: simulation based evaluation of the impact of telematics in the lausanne area: a pilot study’. Proc. of the 1st Swiss Transport Research Conf., Switzerland, 2001.
    17. 17)
      • 17. Park, B., Yadlapati, S.: ‘Development and testing of variable speed limit logics at work zones using simulation’. Presented at 82nd annual meeting of Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington D.C., 2003.
    18. 18)
      • 18. Yang, J.: ‘Speeding behavior analysis based on structural equation model’, J. Southwest Jiaotong Univ., 2015, 50, pp. 183188.
    19. 19)
      • 19. Hu, L., Wang, Z., Zhao, F.: ‘Gaussian harmony search algorithm for driver satisfaction based logistics distribution path optimization’, Appl. Res. Comput., 2015, 32, (12), pp. 36223626.
    20. 20)
      • 20. Reza, T.: ‘A hybrid meta-heuristic algorithm for the vehicle routing problem with stochastic travel times considering the driver's satisfaction’, J. Ind. Eng. Int., 2014, 3, (2), pp. 105116.
    21. 21)
      • 21. Ettema, D.: ‘The road to happiness: measuring Dutch car drivers’, Satisfaction Travel. Transp. Policy, 2013, 27, pp. 105116.
    22. 22)
      • 22. Gregg, G., Douglas, M., Stephen, I., et al: ‘Drivers and consequences of citizen satisfaction: an application of the American customer satisfaction index model to New York city’, Public Adm. Rev., 2004, 64, (3), pp. 331341.
    23. 23)
      • 23. Rong, J., Liu, S., Shao, C., et al: ‘Application of overtaking model in two-lane highway simulation system’, J. Highw. Transp. Res. Dev., 2007, 24, pp. 136139.
    24. 24)
      • 24. Lubor, B., Vladimir, J.: ‘A traffic flow model with overtaking as a Filippov system’, J. Comput. Appl. Math., 2013, 254, pp. 5564.
    25. 25)
      • 25. Petrov, P., Nashashibi, F.: ‘Modelling and nonlinear adaptive control for autonomous vehicle overtaking’, IEEE Trans. Intell. Transp. Syst., 2014, 15, (4), pp. 16431656.
    26. 26)
      • 26. Wang, X., Xing, L., Wu, F.: ‘Driver's desired speed based on decision tree model’, J. Comput. Applic., 2009, 29, pp. 318321.
    27. 27)
      • 27. Vlahogianni, E.I.: ‘Bayesian modeling of the microscopic traffic characteristics of overtaking in two-lane highways’, Transp. Res. F, Traffic Psychol. Behav., 2012, 15, (3), pp. 348357.
    28. 28)
      • 28. Xu, Z.: ‘Monte Carlo method’ (Shanghai Science and Technology Press, Shanghai, 1985).
    29. 29)
      • 29. Zhou, G.: ‘Research on traffic flow simulation and evaluation of basic freeway sections’. Master thesis of Southeast University, 2005.
    30. 30)
      • 30. Xu, Y.: ‘Study on lane-changing model in urban microscopic traffic simulation’. Master thesis of Jilin University, 2005.
    31. 31)
      • 31. Lliescu, D., Sarbescu, P.: ‘The relationship of dangerous driving with traffic offense: a study on an adapted measure of dangerous driving’, Accident Anal. Prev., 2013, 51, pp. 3341.
    32. 32)
      • 32. Zhou, Z., Yang, D.: ‘Lane-change model of simulation in microscopic traffic’, China J. Highw. Transp., 2002, 15, (2), pp. 105108.
    33. 33)
      • 33. Zhang, J., Dai, W.: ‘Study on interaction space of highway and vehicle equivalent conversion coefficient’, J. Highw. Transp. Res. Dev., 2007, 24, (6), pp. 126130.
    34. 34)
      • 34. Huang, Q., Pei, Y.: ‘Study on lane change behavior character and its influence to traffic safety’. Master thesis of Harbin Institute of Technology, 2007.
    35. 35)
      • 35. Theodore, A., Petrisch, S., Herman, F.: ‘Evaluation of geometric and operational characteristics affecting the safety of six-lane divided roadways’ (Sprinkle Consulting Inc., Lutz, Florida, 2007), Project No. BD 543 RPWO5.
    36. 36)
      • 36. Cho, H., Kim, Y.: ‘Analysis of traffic flow with variable speed limit on highways’, KSCE J. Civ. Eng., 2012, 16, (6), pp. 10481056.
    37. 37)
      • 37. Geistefeldt, J.: ‘Impact of variable speed limits on motorway level of service’, Int. J. Intell. Transp. Syst. Res., 2014, 12, (2), pp. 6169.
    38. 38)
      • 38. Parker, J.: ‘Effects of raising and lowering speed limits on selected limits on selected roadway sections’. Presented at 76th annual meeting of Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington D.C., 1997.

Related content

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address