A Platoon Identification Algorithm for Urban Arterial Links

Identification of vehicle platoons in traffic flow is an important problem in traffic operations, as vehicle arrival patterns can be used to cooordinate traffic signal offsets and minimize delays. Information about platoons can also be used as an input to urban link travel time estimation models. While there are existing methods in the literature to identify platoons using second-by-second flow data from a point on a link, they are generally rule-based algorithms having internal parameters that need to be fine tuned or involve complex statistical approaches. Some of these algorithms also tend to be less robust when presented with traffic flow on signals urban links. A simple platoon identification method is proposed in this paper where platoons are identified using changes in temporal flow density. The difference in total flow counts between a forward and backward looking window in time will assume a maximum value at the point in time when a platoon begins, and a minimum value when a platoon ends. These local maxima and minima points are identified using second-by-second flow data obtained from an inductive loop detector (ILD) to determine platoon beginning and end points in time. The accuracy of the proposed approach is tested using ILD data obtained from a Paramics micro-simulation model and is compared against established existing platoon identification methods. The results show that the proposed method matches or exceeds the accuracy of existing platoon identification algorithms despite being simple and easy to implement, and is suitable for use on signals urban links.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01047612
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-2851
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: May 7 2007 8:25AM