Model predicts motorway journey time reliability

Apr 16, 2008

For car users and drivers of freight vehicles on motorways, being able to rely on the time taken to complete a journey is as important as the actual duration of the trip itself. For that reason the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management has listed the improvement of the reliability of door-to-door journey times as one of the main objectives in its latest Mobility Memorandum.

PhD candidate Huizhao Tu has developed a model that can calculate the reliability of journey times and the effects traffic measures and the design of roads have on it. Tu was awarded his doctorate on Tuesday 15 April 2008 on this subject at TU Delft in the Netherlands.

Motorway journey times can be rather unpredictable: one day everything will be fine, while the next, the traffic will be rock solid, even though the weather conditions and the quantity of traffic appear to be the same. For commuters and transporters the fact that journey times are so unpredictable is very annoying. Moreover, they factor this into their journey plans, and this leads to even more uncertainty about how long trips will take. Up to now, little was known about the mechanism that caused journey times to be so unreliable or the factors that played a role.

TU Delft PhD candidate Huizhao Tu has analysed journey time information covering several years for various motorways in the Randstad region. He found – naturally enough – that the busier the roads, the more unpredictable the journey time was. This aspect is important even where traffic intensity is far below the capacity of the road. Journey times are also unreliable on motorways with many junctions and on highways with short entrance and exit roads. It goes without saying that this too has an important influence on the predictability of journey times.

Huizhao Tu’s model calculates the effects of traffic measures (such as the closure of certain road sections and the introduction of maximum speed levels) and of the design of motorways (such as the length of entrance and exit roads) on the predictability of journey times. The model can therefore help contribute to improving the predictability of journey times.

Source: Delft University of Technology

Explore further: Making LED-illuminated advertisements light and flexible

Related Stories

How to train your astronauts

Apr 06, 2015

Training an astronaut is no easy task. Astronauts go through years of rigorous technical, health and safety training to learn simple and complex tasks for a typical four to six month mission. They develop ...

Pilots set for first round-the-world solar flight

Mar 08, 2015

The first attempt to fly around the world in a plane using solar energy will be launched Monday in Abu Dhabi, its pilots said, in a landmark journey aimed at promoting green energy.

Explainer: What is a superconductor?

Mar 05, 2015

Materials can be divided into two categories based on their ability to conduct electricity. Metals, such as copper and silver, allow electrons to move freely and carry with them electrical charge. Insulators, ...

Recommended for you

Making LED-illuminated advertisements light and flexible

16 hours ago

VTT is involved in a European project, developing novel LED advertising displays, which combine thin, lightweight and bendable structures with advanced optical quality. The project will implement, for example, a LED display ...

Detecting human life with remote technology

18 hours ago

Flinders engineering students Laith Al-Shimaysawee and Ali Al-Dabbagh have developed ground-breaking new technology for detecting human life using remote cameras.

Team develops faster, higher quality 3-D camera

Apr 24, 2015

When Microsoft released the Kinect for Xbox in November 2010, it transformed the video game industry. The most inexpensive 3-D camera to date, the Kinect bypassed the need for joysticks and controllers by ...

Researchers finding applications for tough spinel ceramic

Apr 24, 2015

Imagine a glass window that's tough like armor, a camera lens that doesn't get scratched in a sand storm, or a smart phone that doesn't break when dropped. Except it's not glass, it's a special ceramic called ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.