Optimization of Emergency Traffic Patrols (ETP) Operations (Collaborative Project)

Project Abstract

Effective incident management relies on many tools to lessen the overall impact of crashes, road debris, and disabled vehicles. Many urban areas have adopted freeway service patrol (FSP) programs that patrol the freeway network searching for incidents, providing aid to motorists, and assisting with incident management and clearance.

FSP management must consider the beat configuration, fleet size, and fleet allocation. The beat configuration is how the network is divided into different parts for patrolling, and each part is called a beat. The beat configuration, fleet size, and fleet allocation need to be determined for designing a network for FSP program. This research presents a comprehensive mixed-integer programming model to design the network for freeway service patrol programs. This model aims to concurrently determine the beat structure, fleet size, and allocation of trucks to beats, to minimize incident delay while the operational cost is considered, as well.

The proposed model is tested using data from part of the Tarrant County Courtesy Patrol (CP) network in Texas. Also, to explore the problem with field data and real-size networks, the proposed model and developed heuristics are applied to part of the freeway network in Maryland covered by Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART). Results indicate that a joint model forms a better solution regarding incident delay reduction and operation costs.

Read the full report.

Outputs and Outcomes

This research developed a model that can be used to design a network for optimum response while minimizing costs, which can significantly improve the efficiency of a freeway service patrol program. Such programs are critical to both safety and traffic flow, since some 14% to 18% of all crashes result from an earlier incident, anything from debris in the roadway to a disabled car.

Universities and Sponsoring Organizations Involved

U.S. DOT Office of the Secretary-Research, University of Maryland, Morgan State University, Maryland State Highway Administration

Principal Investigator(s)

Ali Haghani (UMD), Email:haghani@umd.edu

Farzad Daneshgar (UMD)

Mansoureh Jeihani (MSU), Email: mansoureh.jeihani@morgan.edu

Samira Ahangari, (MSU)

Moschoula Pternea (UMD)

Funding Sources and Amounts

(Split By Organization and Type of Funding) USDOT: $140,000 (Federal), UMD: $45,326 (Match), Morgan State University: $35,606 (Match)

Completion Date

April 2019


Incident response, incident management.