Short-term arterial travel time prediction for advanced traveler information systems

Wei Hua Lin, Amit Kulkarni, Pitu Mirchandani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


While vehicular flows on freeways are often treated as uninterrupted flows, flows on arterials are conceivably much more complicated because vehicles traveling on arterials are not only subject to queuing delay but also to signal delay. Prediction of travel time is potentially more challenging for arterials than for freeways. This article proposes a simple model for arterial travel time prediction. The proposed approach decomposes total delay on an arterial into link delay and intersection delay. Intersection delay in the context of arterial travel time prediction is very different from the average delay at an intersection. The proposed approach reduces the delay at each intersection, a non-negative continuous variable, into two distinctive states, a state of zero-delay and a state of nominal delay, coupled with a one-step transition matrix that relates the delay to a through vehicle at an intersection to its delay status at the adjacent upstream intersection. The parameters of the transition matrix are based on three key factors: the flow condition, the proportion of net inflows into the arterial from the cross streets, and the signal coordination level. Comparison of predicted delay with simulated delay indicates that the model can yield predictions with a reasonable degree of accuracy under various traffic conditions and signal coordination levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-154
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Intelligent Transportation Systems: Technology, Planning, and Operations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Advanced traveler information systems
  • Dynamic travel time estimation
  • Traffic flow
  • Travel time estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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