Tuesday, September 11, 2007

WEBHYPE: Traffic Jam Simulator

Doctor Martin Treiber of the Technische Universitat Dresden has recently updated his "Microsimulation of road traffic" or as I call it, the Traffic Jam Simulator. An interactive Java app, it allows you to dynamically adjust variables such as road grade, vehicle inflow/hr, truck percentage, and imposed speed limit, until the little red and black rectangles grind to a halt, just like your morning commute.

From Herr Doktor Treiber's homepage:

Traffic dynamics Under certain conditions, traffic of individual vehicles can become unstable, especially on motorways. Who was not yet amazed by traffic jams or stop-and-go waves, seemingly appearing ''out of nothing'', without any obvious cause? We investigate these instabilities and other aspects of nonlinear traffic dynamics by developing and simulating mathematical models: Microscopic traffic models describe the motion of each individual vehicle. Macroscopic models describe the dynamics of locally averaged quantities like the density of vehicles, velocity, and velocity variance. The corresponding equations have some analogies to the Navier-Stokes equations of fluid dynamics. In our case, the analogy can be stressed even further: The equations of our models were derived from a kinetic equation The results should help to prevent at least some of the traffic jams by providing effective algorithms for a dynamical, i.e., traffic-dependent control of
  • speed limits
  • overtaking restrictions
  • green phases of street lights in cities
  • others.
Also check out the little 3D movies of virtual vehicles jamming up. You can almost hear the honking horns. When you've had enough, fire up "Need For Speed."

The Physics and Traffic Homepage of Dr. Martin Treiber
The Traffic Jam Simulator

1 comment:

Zé Cacetudo said...

I believe that's 'Professor Doktor' to you!