Car-Following Model for Motorway Traffic

This paper presents a new car-following model that aims to capture some of the key motorway flow characteristics, namely, traffic breakdown, hysteresis, and shock wave propagation, as well as close-following behavior. The model proposes three different driving states: nonalert, alert, and close following. Under the different driving states, drivers apply different reaction times and accelerations. This paper presents the formulation and algorithmic implementation of the model. The theoretical analysis of the macroscopic flow–density relationships of the model is discussed. Simulation experiments were conducted, and the results are examined at both the macroscopic level (speed breakdown and traffic hysteresis) and the microscopic level (gap distribution and shock wave propagation). The results show that the model is able to capture realistically the speed drop, traffic hysteresis, and shock wave propagation as well as close-following behavior. Further studies of the sensitivities of key model parameters suggest that the drivers’ reaction times have a significant effect on the modeled capacity and occupancy, while the effect of the speed threshold that distinguishes congested from noncongested traffic flow is less significant.


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  • Accession Number: 01022831
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309094089
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 14 2006 3:20PM