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# Fundamentals of Traffic Shock Wave Motion

## Shock wave the motion of propagation of a change in concentration and flow.

Substituting these to Equation 2, and manipulating will yield the following uw = (q2 q1)/(k2 k1)
Eq. 3

If the rates of flow and the concentrations are nearly equal, Assuming the following notations: k1 = traffic concentration of region A; k2 = traffic concentration of region B; uw = shock wave velocity u1 = space mean speed of vehicles in region A; u2 = space mean speed of vehicles in region B; Ur1 = (u1 uw) = speed of vehicles in region A relative to the moving line S; and Ur2 = (u2 uw) = speed of vehicles in region B relative to the moving line S. Referring to Figure 1: In time t, the number of vehicles N crossing the dividing line S is N = Ur1k1t = Ur2k2t or (u1 uw)k1 = (u2 uw)k2
Eq. 1

## (q2 q1) = q and Equation 3 becomes uw = q/k = dq/dk

(k2 k1) = k

Eq. 4

which is the equation for the velocity uw with which small disturbances in the traffic stream are propagated. In the general case in which the differences in the concentrations on the two sides of the moving line S are not infinitesimally small, Equation 3 may be written as uw = (u2k2 u1k1)/(k2 k1)
Eq. 5

Shock Wave Behavior for Specific u-k Relationship If we assume Greenshields model ui = uf(1 ki/kj) and let i = ki/kj
Eq. 6

which is a restatement of the conservation of matter applied to the vehicles that cross the line S and may be written in the form u2k2 u1k1 = uw(k2 k1)
Eq. 2

Eq. 7

If the rate of traffic flow in region A is q1, and the rate of traffic flow in region B is q2, q1 = k1u1 q2 = k2u2

## we can now write u1 = uf(1 1) and u2 = uf(1 2)

Eq. 8

where i are normalized concentrations of both sides of the boundary line S. Substituting these in Equation 3 and simplifying will yield a wave velocity of uw = uf[1 (1 + 2)] Case of nearly equal concentrations (Figure 2) uw = uf(1 2) Stopping waves (Figure 3) uw = uf 1 Starting waves (Figure 4) uw = uf2 = (uf u2)
Eq. 12 Eq. 11 Eq. 10 Eq. 9

k1

u1 A

uw S B u2 k2 x

uw 1 S

2 = 1 x0 x

## Figure 3. Shockwave caused by stopping

Reference : Gerlough, Daniel L. and Huber, Matthew J., Traffic Flow Theory: A Monograph, TRB Special Report 165, Transportation Research Board National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1975.

1 = 1

uw S x0 2 x