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Traffic Dynamics: Studies in Car Following

Robert E. Chandler, Robert Herman and Elliott W. Montroll
Operations Research
Vol. 6, No. 2 (Mar. - Apr., 1958), pp. 165-184
Published by: INFORMS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/167610
Page Count: 20
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Traffic Dynamics: Studies in Car Following
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Abstract

The manner in which vehicles follow each other on a highway (without passing) and the propagation disturbances down a line of vehicles has been investigated. Experimental data is presented which indicates that the acceleration at time t of a car which is attempting to follow a leader is proportional to the difference in velocity of the two cars at a time (t-Δ), Δ being about 1.5 sec and the proportionality constant being about 0.37 sec-1. It is shown theoretically that the motion of a long line of vehicles becomes unstable when the product of the lag time and the proportionality constant exceeds one-half. The experimental data implies that driving is done on the verge of instability. A variety of other laws of following is analyzed theoretically.

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