Year of Publication


Document Type





Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Nikiforos Stamatiadis


This report describes an assessment of using dedicated short-range communications(DSRC) technology to perform travel time monitoring and automated incident detectionon a segment of rural freeway. The assessment used the CORSIM traffic simulation toolto simulate traffic and incidents on a segment of rural freeway. Output data from thesimulation was subjected to post-processing to produce the "probe and beacon" data thatwould be produced by a DSRC-based system. An incident detection algorithm wasdeveloped, which used a travel time threshold and a counter. Travel times exceeding thethreshold incremented the counter, while travel times below the threshold decrementedthe counter (unless it was at zero). An alarm was generated when the counter reached apre-selected level. This algorithm was tested on selected data files, and the results wereused to identify the "best" values of the threshold and counter alarm level. Using these"best" values, the algorithm was then applied to the "probe and beacon" data todetermine how quickly the system could detect various traffic incidents. The analysisshowed that the system could provide rapid and reliable detection of incidents.During the simulation and analysis, several parameters were varied to observe theirimpacts on the system performance. These parameters included traffic volume, incidentseverity, percentage of vehicles with transponders, spacing of roadside readers, andlocation of the incident relative to the next downstream reader. Each parameter proved tohave a significant effect on the detection time, and the observed impacts were consistentwith logical expectations. In general, the time to detect an incident was reduced inresponse to (1) an increase in traffic volume, (2) an increase in incident severity, (3) anincrease in transponder population, (4) a reduction in reader spacing, and (5) a reductionin distance from incident location to next downstream reader.Preliminary estimates were developed of the costs associated with implementing aDSRC-based traffic monitoring system. The relationship between system cost andsystem performance was explored and illustrated.Recommendations were developed and presented. These included further analysis basedon traffic simulations, followed by a limited field deployment to validate the analysisresults.