Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 1443–1455 | Cite as

Self-organized traffic flow at the lightless intersection: algorithms, policies and simulations of the environmental impact

  • Bo Yang
  • Aman Verma
  • Lynette Cheah
  • Christopher Monterola
Original Paper


We propose an urban intersection control scheme without the need of the traffic light (lightless control), which leads to potentially disruptive improvement of efficiency of the intersection traffic flow and much reduced fuel consumption and green house gas (GHG) emissions. We in particular show that such lightless intersection control can be achieved with mature technologies; it can be understood as an enhanced version of the connected vehicles, with the installing an intersection cruise control (ICC) device in the vehicle. Simple algorithms of such intersection control and intuitive traffic policies associated with it make the control scheme easy to implement with minimal impact on traditional driving behaviours. Moreover, such control allows a mixture of vehicles with and without ICC device installed, and can coexist with conventional intersection control with traffic lights. We quantify improvements of our lightless intersection control scheme with realistic large-scale numerical simulation of the vehicle drive cycles and the appropriate energy models. In contrast to traditional signallized intersection control where severe congestion develops, the proposed lightless intersection control leads to a smooth, self-organized traffic flow and lower fuel use and emissions. This performance is demonstrated even under high traffic inflow conditions. In many cases, the environmental impact of the presence of the intersection is found to be negligible.


Urban intersection control Lightless Fuel use GHG footprint 



This research was partially supported by Singapore A*STAR SERC “Complex Systems” Research Pro-gramme Grant 1224504056.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Yang
    • 1
  • Aman Verma
    • 2
  • Lynette Cheah
    • 2
  • Christopher Monterola
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Complex Systems GroupInstitute of High Performance Computing, A*STARSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Engineering Systems and DesignSingapore University of Technology and DesignSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Complexity InstituteNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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