Experimental Study of Short Range Interactions in Vehicular Traffic

This article reports on a study of short-range interactions in vehicular traffic, measured by the analysis of empirical single vehicle data collected by magnetic loops on a two-lane expressway in the suburb of Paris, France. The authors measured velocity correlations and velocity differences between non–neighbor vehicles on the same lane, showing some strong correlations even for platoons of 7 or 8 vehicles. The corresponding time headway distribution for non–neighbor vehicles is also presented. The authors also incorporated some data about interlane structures, through crossed time headway distributions. The results on crossed time headways are meaningful only because the subset of data used corresponds to a unique stationary traffic state and still contains a large amount of data, with a large fraction of short time headways. Their results rule out the idea that short time headways on the right lane could be only due to the preparation of passing maneuvers. Steric constraints can also induce short time headways, and these are expected to last for a longer time, implying some risk factor. Regarding interlane measurements, the study shows that pairs of vehicles separated by more than 6 other vehicles can exhibit strong velocity correlations and short time headways.


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  • Accession Number: 01148145
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 31 2009 10:00AM