A simple one-dimensional spring-block chain with asymmetric interactions is considered to model an idealized single-lane highway traffic. The main elements of the system are blocks (modeling cars), springs with unidirectional interactions (modeling distance-keeping interactions between neighbors), static and kinetic friction (modeling inertia of drivers and cars) and spatiotemporal disorder in the values of these friction forces (modeling differences in the driving attitudes). The traveling chain of cars correspond to the dragged spring-block system. Contrary to most of the studies in the field of highway traffic here we focus on a measure characteristic for one car in the row. Our statistical analysis for the spring-block chain predicts a non-trivial and rich complex behavior. As a function of the disorder level in the system a dynamic phase-transition is observed. For low disorder levels uncorrelated slidings of blocks are revealed while for high disorder levels correlated avalanches dominates.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.