Design and Evaluation of Impact of Traffic Light Priority for Trucks on Traffic Flow

Project Number


Project Summary

Under this project we plan to investigate the impact of giving priority to trucks at traffic lights not only on the travel time of trucks but also on the travel time of passenger vehicles. The concept is similar to that of giving priority to buses even though the motivation for doing so for trucks is different. By timing the traffic signals to give priority to trucks when trucks are present we can achieve two benefits. First the trucks will clear the intersection faster without having to make frequent stops that introduce additional delays due to the time it takes for a truck to accelerate from zero speed to a desired speed and second the less decelerations/accelerations a truck goes through the less pollution it generates and the less fuel it consumes. Such traffic light priority may also have beneficial effect on the travel time of passenger vehicles due to elimination of delays caused by trucks stopping and going. Our analysis is to reveal these benefits and possible tradeoffs.

Project Status




Topic Area

Integrated Freight and Passenger Systems

P.I. Name & Address

Professor of Electrical Engineering Systems, Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering; USC Viterbi School of Engineering
University of Southern California
3740 McClintock Avenue
Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center (EEB) 200B
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2562
United States

Funding Source

Department of Transportation

Total Project Cost


Agency ID or Contract

Grant No: DTRT13-G-UTC57

Start and End Dates

1/1/2014 – 7/31/2015