A simulation study of existing ITS (traveler information, ramp metering, and DMS) on a Detroit freeway demonstrated how these technologies can increase average vehicle speed, decreased average trip time, and reduce commuter delay by as much as 22 percent.
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United States

Detroit Freeway Corridor ITS Evaluation

Summary Information

This study used simulation techniques to evaluate the impacts of ITS on the John C. Lodge freeway in Detroit, Michigan. The study was able to discount freeway bias (driver preference for freeways) and analyze the system and facility level benefits of ITS currently deployed in the corridor.

ITS in the corridor consisted of internet-based pre-trip advanced traveler information systems (ATIS), highway advisory radio (HAR), ramp metering, and dynamic message signs (DMS). The performance of these systems was analyzed through a series of simulations that evaluated four alternatives:
  • No-ITS.
  • Ramp metering.
  • Variable message signs.
  • Existing-ITS (ATIS, HAR, ramp metering, and DMS).

The INTEGRATION simulation model was used to generate peak PM arterial and freeway corridor conditions for roughly 40,000 to 50,000 vehicles per hour during 80 different scenarios of impedance (varied weather, incident patterns, etc.). The model was calibrated using flow and speed data derived from field observations.
Field data indicated that under typical peak hour conditions, freeway bias could not exist because average freeway travel speeds were higher than those on arterials. The lack of available data on freeway speeds during incidents precluded an analysis of freeway bias during incidents.

The simulation results indicated existing ITS technologies in the corridor (ATIS, HAR, ramp metering, and DMS) increased average vehicle speed up to 5.4 mi/h, decreased average trip time by approximately 4.6 minutes, and reduced commuter delay by as much as 22 percent.

Detroit Freeway Corridor ITS Evaluation

Detroit Freeway Corridor ITS Evaluation
Publication Sort Date
Shah, Vaishali and Karl Wunderlich
Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT

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