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Traffic Experiment Reveals the Nature of Car-Following


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Suggested Citation:
Jiang, Rui, Mao-Bin Hu, Hongjun Michael Zhang, Zi-You Gao, Bin Jia, Qing-Song Wu, Bing Wang, Ming Yang (2014) Traffic Experiment Reveals the Nature of Car-Following. Public Library of Science ONE 9 (4)

As a typical self-driven many-particle system far from equilibrium, traffic flow exhibits diverse fascinating non-equilibrium phenomena, most of which are closely related to traffic flow stability and specifically the growth/dissipation pattern of disturbances. However, the traffic theories have been controversial due to a lack of precise traffic data. We have studied traffic flow from a new perspective by carrying out large-scale car-following experiment on an open road section, which overcomes the intrinsic deficiency of empirical observations. The experiment has shown clearly the nature of car-following, which runs against the traditional traffic flow theory. Simulations show that by removing the fundamental notion in the traditional car-following models and allowing the traffic state to span a two-dimensional region in velocity-spacing plane, the growth pattern of disturbances has changed qualitatively and becomes qualitatively or even quantitatively in consistent with that observed in the experiment.

Available online at: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094351