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Colloquium – Benjamin Seibold, Temple University
March 22 @ 3:00 pm - March 27 @ 4:00 pm
Title: Phantom Traffic Jams, Autonomous Vehicles, and the Future of Traffic Modelling
Abstract: Initially homogeneous vehicular traffic flow can become inhomogeneous even in the absence of obstacles. In this “phantom traffic jam” phenomenon, small perturbations grow into traffic waves, called “jamitons”. Via the mathematical analysis of traffic models, we demonstrate that phantom jams can arise from the collective behavior of all drivers on the road, and that jamitons are mathematical analogs of detonation waves. Moreover, we discuss how connected and autonomous vehicles, that will soon enter our roadways, can be employed for traffic flow control to dissipate, and even prevent, traffic waves; even at very low penetration rates. We close with an outlook on how traffic flow itself will change in the years to come, and how this will greatly affect traffic modeling at the interface of applied mathematics and engineering.