Existence of urban macro-scale macroscopic fundamental diagrams: Some experimental findings

Author(s): Daganzo, Carlos F.
All authors:
Geroliminis, N. Daganzo, C.F.
Host organisation: CoE Berkeley, USA
Country: Japan
Publication year: 2008
Published in:
Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Vol. 42, No. 9, pp. 759-770
Research theme: Management and Control
urban mobility, traffic congestion, macroscopic fundamental diagram
Research article
A field experiment in Yokohama (Japan) reveals that a macroscopic fundamental diagram (MFD) linking space-mean flow, density and speed exists on a large urban area. The experiment used a combination of fixed detectors and floating vehicle probes as sensors. It was observed that when the somewhat chaotic scatter-plots of speed vs. density from individual fixed detectors were aggregated the scatter nearly disappeared and points grouped neatly along a smoothly declining curve. This evidence suggests, but does not prove, that an MFD exists for the complete network because the fixed detectors only measure conditions in their proximity, which may not represent the whole network. Therefore, the analysis was enriched with data from GPS-equipped taxis, which covered the entire network. The new data were filtered to ensure that only full-taxi trips (i.e., representative of automobile trips) were retained in the sample. The space-mean speeds and densities at different times-of-day were then estimated for the whole study area using relevant parts of the detector and taxi data sets. These estimates were still found to lie close to a smoothly declining curve with deviations smaller than those of individual links - and entirely explained by experimental error. The analysis also revealed a fixed relation between the space-mean flows on the whole network, which are easy to estimate given the existence of an MFD, and the trip completion rates, which dynamically measure accessibility.
January 2022
Upcoming Events
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
v52            1 2
v1  3 4 5 6 7 8 9
v2  10 11 12 13 14 15 16
v3  17 18 19 20 21 22 23
v4  24 25 26 27 28 29 30
v5  31            


Skills and Tools Academic Short Courses 2022 Pdf, 814.7 kB. (Pdf, 814.7 kB)

This Call is an opportunity for scholars and teachers in sub-Saharan Africa to make a
concrete contribution to strengthening the academic skills of next generation African researchers in fields related to urban transport and mobility

Deadline: 15 February 2022


The VREF invites PhD students and researchers in early stages of their career to apply for a Study Visit Grant to be supported with up to SEK 30 000.

MOBILITY GRANT 2022- MAC-MG 2022 Pdf, 447.1 kB. (Pdf, 447.1 kB)

The VREF invites PhD students and advanced master students from Sub-Saharan African (SSA) universities to apply for a Mobility Grant (MG) to support a visit to another SSA university with up to SEK 25 000.

CALL FOR NOMINATION FOR the Håkan Frisinger Award for Excellence in Transportation Research

The VREF invites universities located in Sweden to nominate candidates for The Håkan Frisinger Award (Håkan Frisingers pris till framstående transportforskare) and apply for a VREF Visiting Researcher Grant for the nominated candidate.

Closed on 2022-03-03.

Read more... Pdf, 233.6 kB. (Pdf, 233.6 kB)

Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarships for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the international policy dialogue in these fields.

This yearly award is aimed at supporting young individual researchers and students in is pursuance.

Call deadline: March 1, 2021 .


Blog! Blog! Blog!

Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas


© Copyright VREF