An Operational Analysis of Traffic Dynamics
Abstract
The dynamics of a line of traffic composed of n vehicles is studied mathematically. It is postulated that the movements of the several vehicles are controlled by an idealized ``law of separation.'' The law considered in the analysis specifies that each vehicle must maintain a certain prescribed ``following distance'' from the preceding vehicle. This distance is the sum of a distance proportional to the velocity of the following vehicle and a certain given minimum distance of separation when the vehicles are at rest. By the application of this postulated law to the motion of the column of vehicles, the differential equations governing the dynamic state of the system are obtained.
The solution of the dynamical equations for several assumed types of motion of the leading vehicle is effected by the operational or Laplace transform method and the velocities and accelerations of the various vehicles are thus obtained. Consideration is given to the use of an electrical analog computer for studying the dynamical equations of the system.
 Publication:

Journal of Applied Physics
 Pub Date:
 March 1953
 DOI:
 10.1063/1.1721265
 Bibcode:
 1953JAP....24..274P