Jam-Avoiding Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and its Impact on Traffic Dynamics

  • Arne Kesting
  • Martin Treiber
  • Martin Schönhof
  • Florian Kranke
  • Dirk Helbing


Adaptive-Cruise Control (ACC) automatically accelerates or decelerates a vehicle to maintain a selected time gap, to reach a desired velocity, or to prevent a rear-end collision. To this end, the ACC sensors detect and track the vehicle ahead for measuring the actual distance and speed difference. Together with the own velocity, these input variables are exactly the same as in car-following models. The focus of this contribution is: What will be the impact of a spreading of ACC systems on the traffic dynamics? Do automated driving strategies have the potential to improve the capacity and stability of traffic flow or will they necessarily increase the heterogeneity and instability? How does the result depend on the ACC equipment level?

We discuss microscopic modeling aspects for human and automated (ACC) driving. By means of microscopic traffic simulations, we study how a variable percentage of ACC-equipped vehicles influences the stability of traffic flow, the maximum flow under free traffic conditions until traffic breaks down, and the dynamic capacity of congested traffic. Furthermore, we compare different percentages of ACC with respect to travel times in a specific congestion scenario. Remarkably, we find that already a small amount of ACC equipped cars and, hence, a marginally increased free and dynamic capacity, leads to a drastic reduction of traffic congestion.


Time Headway Adaptive Cruise Control Dynamic Capacity Human Driver Driving Style 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arne Kesting
    • 1
  • Martin Treiber
    • 1
  • Martin Schönhof
    • 1
  • Florian Kranke
    • 2
  • Dirk Helbing
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Transport & EconomicsTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Volkswagen AGWolfsburgGermany
  3. 3.Collegium Budapest — Institute for Advanced StudyBudapestHungary

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