Dynamic Congestion Charge & Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks

Comments on Sensor Web Design Studies for Realtime Dynamic Congestion Pricing (here)

Situation: Traffic congestion is a fundamental problem. To avoid it on some streets, one may charge drivers accessing those streets. For simplicity, one usually charges a fixed rate (e.g., London congestion charge).  However, dynamic pricing is preferable – one charges depending on information about local road events, public event calendars, road segments, and congestion patterns.
Problem: The pricing model needs to gather such information.
Proposal: This paper proposes to do so by collecting readings from sensors and from aircrafts/UAVs with video cameras.
Future: To extend this proposal, one may be inspired by existing work on ad-hoc vehicular nets (e.g.,  by Ilias‘ recent work). What about  ‘Realtime Dynamic Congestion Charge with Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks’?

8 Responses to “Dynamic Congestion Charge & Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks”

  1. neal says:

    (again, i havent read the paper yet, this is just a first impression/thought) i think that in theory this is a good idea, but the problem arises from the end users, who would be subject to different prices for doing the same thing depending on local information (… and would have to be informed each time of the new price). wouldn’t it also be useful to include individual behavioral patterns and price accordingly?

  2. d.quercia says:

    Drivers may well benefit from charges that may be occasionally lower than the fixed congestion charge, right?

    What do you mean by ‘behavioral patterns’?

  3. neal says:

    as in you pay based on how much you congest the roads..
    so you would pay based on how much using that road goes against your usual routine (ie if x uses roads mainly on weekends and y uses the road at peak time to go to work, then the day that x decides to drive at peak time would result in a congestion charge that is higher than what y pays). just an idea

  4. mike says:

    Imagine combining this with sat nav: the driver would be offered a variety of different routes, each with an estimated cost and time. But then as Clay Shirky said, “The short answer why micropayments fail: user hate them.”

  5. mike says:

    Sorry, users. Clay Shirky’s not Chinese as far as I know. ;-)

  6. d.quercia says:

    What if users hate dynamic pricing but do not have any other choice but to embrace it. After all, dynamic pricing may be more efficient (from a market perspective) than static pricing. Am I being too provocative?

  7. THE DANGER OF CONGESTION PRICING
    (from http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/2007/02/12/925/)

    Daniel Gross, who writes good popular economics pieces for Slate, the New York Times, and sometimes New York, published a Times piece on Sunday that will cheer fans of congestion pricing, the practice of charging higher tolls when roads are busier:

    “[T]he $2.9 trillion fiscal 2008 budget released by President Bush on Monday contained some excellent news: $130 million in grants to finance construction of so-called congestion pricing systems.”

    The people developing these systems will probably proceed with a bit more caution in light of the fact that a letter bomb was recently sent to the London company that runs that city’s famous congestion-pricing system.

  8. The London congestion charge has become a great way to reduce traffic and polution.