Instability of cooperative adaptive cruise control traffic flow: a macroscopic approach

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This paper proposes a macroscopic model to describe the operations of cooperative adaptive cruise control (CACC) traffic flow, which is an extension of adaptive cruise control (ACC) traffic flow. In CACC traffic flow a vehicle can exchange information with many preceding vehicles through wireless communication. Due to such communication the CACC vehicle can follow its leader at a closer distance than the ACC vehicle. The stability diagrams are constructed from the developed model based on the linear and nonlinear stability method for a certain model parameter set. It is found analytically that CACC vehicles enhance the stabilization of traffic flow with respect to both small and large perturbations compared to ACC vehicles. Numerical simulation is carried out to support our analytical findings. Based on the nonlinear stability analysis, we will show analytically and numerically that the CACC system better improves the dynamic equilibrium capacity over the ACC system. We have argued that in parallel to microscopic models for CACC traffic flow, the newly developed macroscopic will provide a complete insight into the dynamics of intelligent traffic flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2838-2851
Number of pages14
JournalCommunications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cooperative adaptive cruise control
  • Linear
  • Macroscopic traffic modeling
  • Nonlinear theory

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