Congestion due to merging roads: Predictions of three-phase traffic theory
Congested traffic patterns at a symmetric merger of two single-lane roads into one road are studied in the KKW-model, a cellular automaton that traces all observed congestion patterns back to two basic concepts: A typical distance below which a driver decides to adjust his speed to the one of the car in front, and the minimal distance between cars that is compatible with secure driving. The diagram of congested patterns in the flow-flow plane whose co-ordinates are the inflow rates onto the two merging roads is determined. Depending on the parameters, every congestion pattern can occur on either road, but not all combinations of patterns on both roads are realized. There is no indication of spontaneous symmetry breaking: Equal demand on both roads leads to the same type of pattern on both sides.
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