Freeway lab: testing dynamic speed limits
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
This paper presents the Dynamic Speed Limit (DSL) experiment that took place in June 2013 on the last 13 km stretch of the B-23 freeway accessing the city of Barcelona (Spain). The DSL system installed on that freeway in addition to the high density of surveillance equipment available makes this stretch a suitable highway lab. The objective of the experiment was to construct a comprehensive database of traffic engineering variables on a freeway site when different speed limits apply. Special attention was paid to ensure similar demand conditions. The experiment included the modification of the speed limits on a freeway segment making use of dynamic signals. Detailed measurements of vehicle counts, speeds, occupancies, lane changing maneuvers and travel times were taken. These simultaneous measurements obtained from very different types of monitoring equipment have been grouped into a single database. These include measurements from inductive loop detectors, radar, ultrasound and passive infrared non-intrusive traffic detectors, TV cameras and license plate recognition devices. The potential of this multi-source database is huge. For instance, a preliminary analysis empirically proves that drivers’ compliance with dynamic speed limits is very limited, unless speed enforcement devices are present. In addition, it is also proved that lane changing rates increase together with the occupancy level of the freeway. This comprehensive DSL database, unique in its nature, is made publicly available to the whole research community [Link],  in order to use up all its information. The present paper aims to present in detail this DSL experiment and its results and to contribute in the dissemination of the resulting database. This will facilitate its analysis to any interested researcher, and would lead to a better understanding of the causes and effects of DSL strategies on freeways.
CitationSoriguera, F.; Sala, M. Freeway lab: testing dynamic speed limits. A: Congreso de Ingeniería del Transporte. "Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences", 2014, vol. 160. p. 35-44.