In the modern era, characterized by intense urbanization and frequent travel between interconnected communities, the constant expansion of cities, associated with high densities and growing need for traveling, has led to a significant increase in road traffic volumes. More than ever, road traffic today requires effort to be managed effectively in order to improve performance and safety conditions, given the greater probability of unpleasant events such as accidents or road congestion with related delays and the increased stress levels of the user and infrastructure. Fortunately, there are already various engineering tools, such as ramp metering, that can be used for this purpose. Ramp metering allows for achieving the aforementioned desired benefits, including improving mobility, reliability, efficiency, and safety, and even reducing environmental impact. It also has been shown to be cost-effective from the existing literature. Further research will be necessary to strengthen the quality, efficacy, and efficiency of ramp metering, especially considering the fast-paced progress in technology (e.g., connected autonomous vehicles and drones used for surveys) and new challenging scenarios (e.g., congested industrial areas and emergency vehicles). This review’s scope is to present a general overview of principal ramp metering solutions, focusing on current research studies in the last couple of years and highlighting some of the main algorithms used for this purpose, depending on diverse scenarios. With this article, the authors desire to present the subject of ramp metering, providing a general overview of its story, evolution, and recent analytical models.
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