Analysis of traffic flow with micro-cars with respect to safety and environmental impact

This study analyzes the characteristics of traffic flow in the presence of micro-cars in a vehicle mix. A two-lane multi-cell traffic cellular automaton (TCA) model is formulated to simulate mixed traffic flow comprising conventional passenger cars and micro-cars. The segments of an urban highway and arterial road, both with two lanes and measuring 700 m in length, are simulated; the latter includes an intersection delay with a signal cycle at the midpoint. Traffic flows with different proportions of micro-cars are investigated in the simulation. Four aspects of traffic conditions are calculated: the number of lane changes, the number of decelerations, the coefficient of speed variation (which may be indicative of safety performance), and the HC, CO, and NOₓ emissions (as a measure of environmental impact). The simulation results suggest that mixed flow with micro-cars leads to higher frequencies of lane-changing on both highways and arterial roads, although the incremental change on the latter is smaller. With the introduction of micro-cars on the highway, the frequency of decelerations increases in free flow and decreases in congested flow; however, on the arterial road, it decreases the frequency of decelerations and has an insignificant impact on free flow. The introduction of micro-cars has a similar impact on the coefficient of speed variation. Under free flow conditions on highways, the introduction of micro-cars has a negative influence on the three aforementioned parameters related to safety. However, for free flow on arterial roads or congested flow on highways and arterial roads, the results are inconclusive because the effect of micro-cars is contradictory in terms of the three parameters. Vehicle emissions, such as HC, CO, and NOₓ, increase during free flow on highways, but are always lower on arterial roads.


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  • Accession Number: 01710634
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 18 2019 3:05PM