Dissipation of Emergent Traffic Waves in Stop-and-Go Traffic Using a Supervisory Controller

Rahul Kumar Bhadani, Benedetto Piccoli, Benjamin Seibold, Jonathan Sprinkle, Daniel Work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


This paper presents the use of a quadratic band controller in an autonomous vehicle (AV) to regulate emergent traffic waves resulting from traffic congestion. The controller dampens the emergent traffic waves through modulating its velocity according to the relative distance and velocity of the immediately preceding vehicle in the flow. At the same time, it prevents any collision within the range specified by the design parameters. The approach is based on a configurable quadratic band that allows smooth transitions between (i) no modification to the desired velocity; (ii) braking to match the speed of the preceding vehicle; and (iii) braking to avoid collision with the lead vehicle. By assuming that the lead vehicle's velocity will be oscillatory, the controller's smooth transition between modes permits any vehicle following the AV to have a smoother reference velocity. The configurable quadratic band allows design parameters, such as actuator and computation delays as well as the dynamics of vehicle deceleration, to be taken into account when constructing the controller. Experimental data, software-in-the-loop distributed simulation, and results from physical platform performance in an experiment with 21 human-driven vehicles are presented. Analysis shows that the design parameters used in constructing the quadratic band controller are met, and assumptions regarding the oscillatory nature of emergent traffic waves are valid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538613955
StatePublished - Jul 2 2018
Event57th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2018 - Miami, United States
Duration: Dec 17 2018Dec 19 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Conference57th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


Dive into the research topics of 'Dissipation of Emergent Traffic Waves in Stop-and-Go Traffic Using a Supervisory Controller'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this