FORCED MERGING IN TRAFFIC
CALIFORNIA UNIV BERKELEY OPERATIONS RESEARCH CENTER
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A vehicle waiting at an intersection of a major road forces an entry into the main-stream traffic by requiring the oncoming traffic to slow down. Assuming that the main-stream traffic can be described as a renewal process, the paper examines the resulting disturbance which the forced entry creates in the main stream. After showing that it is formally equivalent to a busy period problem, explicit results are obtained in the case of Poisson traffic. It is shown that there is a minimal main-stream headway which should be forced in order to maximize the rate of entry into the major road by many waiting vehicles. Finally, two measures of accident potential are discussed.
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