Proactive Traffic Signal Timing and Coordination for Congestion Mitigation on Arterial Roads


Dr. Xing Wu, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Hao Yang, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


In this project, a proactive signal control system was developed to maximize the network performance and minimize road congestion in the vicinities of intersections.

communications between vehicles and signal control systems
Communications between vehicles and signal control systems


Traffic streams on arterial roads are interrupted by traffic signals, where vehicles are forced to stop at signals on red, which increases their travel time, emission and fuel consumption due to idling, acceleration, and deceleration maneuvers caused by traffic signals. Hence, operating arterial traffic significantly relies on signal phasing and timing plans, as well as signal coordination systems. This project successfully developed a proactive signal control system to optimize signal phasing and timing plans to achieve the goals of mitigating traffic congestions, as well as delay caused by signals.

First, the proposed system modeled vehicle queue generation and propagation ahead of traffic signals, and found their relationship between road congestions and delays of vehicular trips. The congestion phenomenon was also reproduced with traffic simulation software. Second, a communication platform was constructed for connected vehicles, onsite loop detectors and traffic signals to monitor real-time traffic conditions. Finally, a proactive signal control strategy was developed based on the collected traffic information to adjusting the plans, and to mitigate congestions on arterial roads. To ensure the robustness and effectiveness of the strategy, a model predictive control was introduced to predict short-term traffic conditions, and to provide more intelligent signal phasing and timing plan under different traffic statuses.


This project was funded by Texas Department of Transportation. (Project # 0-6920)


  • Yang, H., Haque, M. and Wu, X. (2017) “A new proactive signal control system on arterial corridor”. Submitted to the 2017 IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium (IV 2017), Redondo Beach, CA, June 11-14, 2017. Under review.
  • Yang, H., Haque, M. and Wu, X. (2017) “Connected vehicle-based proactive signal control for congestion mitigation on arterial roads”. Submitted to Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies. Under review.