Optimal motorway speed management

A real-time algorithm for calculating the best flow condition


We present a method for calculating the optimal motorway speed based on real-time measured data. On the basis of the vehicle flow and the transit speed measured at high frequency (1 minute), an algorithm was developed based on the concept of a “state machine”, which in real time calculates the optimal transit speed. This information can be immediately communicated to drivers via variable message signs. The optimal speed is the one that avoids or reduces traffic jams and ensures maximum flow of a road section.
The system is currently being tested by the A22 Brenner motorway as part of the European LIFE+ project BrennerLEC, but it is conceptually applicable to any motorway equipped with a measurement infrastructure for vehicular transit and signalling to users.