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Master Thesis: Traffic Simulation for an Air Pollution-aware Toll System with Dynamic Charging


Traffic Simulation for an Air Pollution-aware Toll System with Dynamic Charging


Traffic-related air pollution poses serious health risks to people around the globe, especially in densely populated urban areas. Road pricing is commonly known to have a positive impact on air quality, but the majority of modern toll systems typically aim to reduce congestion or amortize infrastructure and maintenance cost. Only very few toll systems prioritize the improvement of air quality and actually consider pollution-related variables in their price design. Technological advancement in sensor network technology have led to the development of new emerging conceptual air pollution-aware toll systems that try to internalize the external cost of traffic-induced air pollution. These systems first require theoretical validation with regards to their effectiveness and impact on traffic. Furthermore, they must be tested for an optimal operational configuration based on local conditions using traffic simulation.
This thesis presents the implementation of a realistic traffic simulation for an air pollutionaware toll system with a distance-based dynamic charging scheme using the Berlin metropolitan area as testbed. The toll system uses sensor measurements to divide a region into pollution-affected areas. Drivers are charged based on the distance they cover in each area and the emission class of their vehicle.
The simulation tool consists of a fully automated workflow that prepares publicly available input information and the custom toll system logic that has been added to an existing traffic simulation software. It provides a broad range of configurable parameters for the experimentation with operational toll system settings and dynamic pricing elements.
The air pollution-aware toll system is evaluated by performing traffic simulations for a 10% sample of the Berlin population on three days with characteristical air pollution patterns. A road pricing scheme is applied for multiple pricing levels and an explorative analysis examines the effects on traffic and emissions caused by drivers adapting their behavior and route in response to the toll system. The results show only little impact on traffic, marginally increased emissions and a large revenue potential for an earmarked charge to improve air quality.

Supervisor: Sandro Rogriguez Garzon

Type:  Master Thesis

Duration: 6 months

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TU Berlin - Service-centric Networking - TEL 19
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