Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Search results for: micro-simulation

6 Microsimulation of Potential Crashes as a Road Safety Indicator

Authors: Vittorio Astarita, Giuseppe Guido, Vincenzo Pasquale Giofre, Alessandro Vitale


Traffic microsimulation has been used extensively to evaluate consequences of different traffic planning and control policies in terms of travel time delays, queues, pollutant emissions, and every other common measured performance while at the same time traffic safety has not been considered in common traffic microsimulation packages as a measure of performance for different traffic scenarios. Vehicle conflict techniques that were introduced at intersections in the early traffic researches carried out at the General Motor laboratory in the USA and in the Swedish traffic conflict manual have been applied to vehicles trajectories simulated in microscopic traffic simulators. The concept is that microsimulation can be used as a base for calculating the number of conflicts that will define the safety level of a traffic scenario. This allows engineers to identify unsafe road traffic maneuvers and helps in finding the right countermeasures that can improve safety. Unfortunately, most commonly used indicators do not consider conflicts between single vehicles and roadside obstacles and barriers. A great number of vehicle crashes take place with roadside objects or obstacles. Only some recent proposed indicators have been trying to address this issue. This paper introduces a new procedure based on the simulation of potential crash events for the evaluation of safety levels in microsimulation traffic scenarios, which takes into account also potential crashes with roadside objects and barriers. The procedure can be used to define new conflict indicators. The proposed simulation procedure generates with the random perturbation of vehicle trajectories a set of potential crashes which can be evaluated accurately in terms of DeltaV, the energy of the impact, and/or expected number of injuries or casualties. The procedure can also be applied to real trajectories giving birth to new surrogate safety performance indicators, which can be considered as “simulation-based”. The methodology and a specific safety performance indicator are described and applied to a simulated test traffic scenario. Results indicate that the procedure is able to evaluate safety levels both at the intersection level and in the presence of roadside obstacles. The procedure produces results that are expressed in the same unity of measure for both vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to roadside object conflicts. The total energy for a square meter of all generated crash can be used and is shown on the map, for the test network, after the application of a threshold to evidence the most dangerous points. Without any detailed calibration of the microsimulation model and without any calibration of the parameters of the procedure (standard values have been used), it is possible to identify dangerous points. A preliminary sensitivity analysis has shown that results are not dependent on the different energy thresholds and different parameters of the procedure. This paper introduces a specific new procedure and the implementation in the form of a software package that is able to assess road safety, also considering potential conflicts with roadside objects. Some of the principles that are at the base of this specific model are discussed. The procedure can be applied on common microsimulation packages once vehicle trajectories and the positions of roadside barriers and obstacles are known. The procedure has many calibration parameters and research efforts will have to be devoted to make confrontations with real crash data in order to obtain the best parameters that have the potential of giving an accurate evaluation of the risk of any traffic scenario.

Keywords: road safety, traffic, traffic safety, traffic simulation

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5 Using Traffic Micro-Simulation to Assess the Benefits of Accelerated Pavement Construction for Reducing Traffic Emissions

Authors: Sudipta Ghorai, Ossama Salem


Pavement maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation (MRR) processes may have considerable environmental impacts due to traffic disruptions associated with work zones. The simulation models in use to predict the emission of work zones were mostly static emission factor models (SEFD). SEFD calculates emissions based on average operation conditions e.g. average speed and type of vehicles. Although these models produce accurate results for large-scale planning studies, they are not suitable for analyzing driving conditions at the micro level such as acceleration, deceleration, idling, cruising, and queuing in a work zone. The purpose of this study is to prepare a comprehensive work zone environmental assessment (WEA) framework to calculate the emissions caused due to disrupted traffic; by integrating traffic microsimulation tools with emission models. This will help highway officials to assess the benefits of accelerated construction and opt for the most suitable TMP not only economically but also from an environmental point of view.

Keywords: accelerated construction, pavement MRR, traffic microsimulation, congestion, emissions

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4 Evaluation of the Impact of Reducing the Traffic Light Cycle for Cars to Improve Non-Vehicular Transportation: A Case of Study in Lima

Authors: Gheyder Concha Bendezu, Rodrigo Lescano Loli, Aldo Bravo Lizano


In big urbanized cities of Latin America, motor vehicles have priority over non-motor vehicles and pedestrians. There is an important problem that affects people's health and quality of life; lack of inclusion towards pedestrians makes it difficult for them to move smoothly and safely since the city has been planned for the transit of motor vehicles. Faced with the new trend for sustainable and economical transport, the city is forced to develop infrastructure in order to incorporate pedestrians and users with non-motorized vehicles in the transport system. The present research aims to study the influence of non-motorized vehicles on an avenue, the optimization of a cycle using traffic lights based on simulation in Synchro software, to improve the flow of non-motor vehicles. The evaluation is of the microscopic type; for this reason, field data was collected, such as vehicular, pedestrian, and non-motor vehicle user demand. With the values of speed and travel time, it is represented in the current scenario that contains the existing problem. These data allow to create a microsimulation model in Vissim software, later to be calibrated and validated so that it has a behavior similar to reality. The results of this model are compared with the efficiency parameters of the proposed model; these parameters are the queue length, the travel speed, and mainly the travel times of the users at this intersection. The results reflect a reduction of 27% in travel time, that is, an improvement between the proposed model and the current one for this great avenue. The tail length of motor vehicles is also reduced by 12.5%, a considerable improvement. All this represents an improvement in the level of service and in the quality of life of users.

Keywords: bikeway, microsimulation, pedestrians, queue length, traffic light cycle, travel time

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3 Estimating the Traffic Impacts of Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory Systems Using Microsimulation

Authors: C. B. Masera, M. Imprialou, L. Budd, C. Morton


Even though signalised intersections are necessary for urban road traffic management, they can act as bottlenecks and disrupt traffic operations. Interrupted traffic flow causes congestion, delays, stop-and-go conditions (i.e. excessive acceleration/deceleration) and longer journey times. Vehicle and infrastructure connectivity offers the potential to provide improved new services with additional functions of assisting drivers. This paper focuses on one of the applications of vehicle-to-infrastructure communication namely Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA). To assess the effectiveness of GLOSA in the urban road network, an integrated microscopic traffic simulation framework is built into VISSIM software. Vehicle movements and vehicle-infrastructure communications are simulated through the interface of External Driver Model. A control algorithm is developed for recommending an optimal speed that is continuously updated in every time step for all vehicles approaching a signal-controlled point. This algorithm allows vehicles to pass a traffic signal without stopping or to minimise stopping times at a red phase. This study is performed with all connected vehicles at 100% penetration rate. Conventional vehicles are also simulated in the same network as a reference. A straight road segment composed of two opposite directions with two traffic lights per lane is studied. The simulation is implemented under 150 vehicles per hour and 200 per hour traffic volume conditions to identify how different traffic densities influence the benefits of GLOSA. The results indicate that traffic flow is improved by the application of GLOSA. According to this study, vehicles passed through the traffic lights more smoothly, and waiting times were reduced by up to 28 seconds. Average delays decreased for the entire network by 86.46% and 83.84% under traffic densities of 150 vehicles per hour per lane and 200 vehicles per hour per lane, respectively.

Keywords: connected vehicles, GLOSA, intelligent transport systems, vehicle-to-infrastructure communication

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2 Dynamic Modelling and Assessment for Urban Growth and Transport in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia

Authors: Majid Aldalbahi


In 2009, over 3.4 billion people in the world resided in urban areas as a result of rapid urban growth. This figure is estimated to increase to 6.5 billion by 2050. This urban growth phenomenon has raised challenges for many countries in both the developing and developed worlds. Urban growth is a complicated process involving the spatiotemporal changes of all socio-economic and physical components at different scales. The socio-economic components of urban growth are related to urban population growth and economic growth, while physical components of urban growth and economic growth are related to spatial expansion, land cover change and land use change which are the focus of this research. The interactions between these components are complex and no-linear. Several factors and forces cause these complex interactions including transportation and communication, internal and international migrations, public policies, high natural growth rates of urban populations and public policies. Urban growth has positive and negative consequences. The positive effects relates to planned and orderly urban growth, while negative effects relate to unplanned and scattered growth, which is called sprawl. Although urban growth is considered as necessary for sustainable urbanization, uncontrolled and rapid growth cause various problems including consumption of precious rural land resources at urban fringe, landscape alteration, traffic congestion, infrastructure pressure, and neighborhood conflicts. Traditional urban planning approaches in fast growing cities cannot accommodate the negative consequences of rapid urban growth. Microsimulation programme, and modelling techniques are effective means to provide new urban development, management and planning methods and approaches. This paper aims to use these techniques to understand and analyse the complex interactions for the case study of Riyadh city, a fast growing city in Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: policy implications, urban planning, traffic congestion, urban growth, Suadi Arabia, Riyadh

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1 Pricing Techniques to Mitigate Recurring Congestion on Interstate Facilities Using Dynamic Feedback Assignment

Authors: Hatem Abou-Senna


Interstate 4 (I-4) is a primary east-west transportation corridor between Tampa and Daytona cities, serving commuters, commercial and recreational traffic. I-4 is known to have severe recurring congestion during peak hours. The congestion spans about 11 miles in the evening peak period in the central corridor area as it is considered the only non-tolled limited access facility connecting the Orlando Central Business District (CBD) and the tourist attractions area (Walt Disney World). Florida officials had been skeptical of tolling I-4 prior to the recent legislation, and the public through the media had been complaining about the excessive toll facilities in Central Florida. So, in search for plausible mitigation to the congestion on the I-4 corridor, this research is implemented to evaluate the effectiveness of different toll pricing alternatives that might divert traffic from I-4 to the toll facilities during the peak period. The network is composed of two main diverging limited access highways, freeway (I-4) and toll road (SR 417) in addition to two east-west parallel toll roads SR 408 and SR 528, intersecting the above-mentioned highways from both ends. I-4 and toll road SR 408 are the most frequently used route by commuters. SR-417 is a relatively uncongested toll road with 15 miles longer than I-4 and $5 tolls compared to no monetary cost on 1-4 for the same trip. The results of the calibrated Orlando PARAMICS network showed that percentages of route diversion vary from one route to another and depends primarily on the travel cost between specific origin-destination (O-D) pairs. Most drivers going from Disney (O1) or Lake Buena Vista (O2) to Lake Mary (D1) were found to have a high propensity towards using I-4, even when eliminating tolls and/or providing real-time information. However, a diversion from I-4 to SR 417 for these OD pairs occurred only in the cases of the incident and lane closure on I-4, due to the increase in delay and travel costs, and when information is provided to travelers. Furthermore, drivers that diverted from I-4 to SR 417 and SR 528 did not gain significant travel-time savings. This was attributed to the limited extra capacity of the alternative routes in the peak period and the longer traveling distance. When the remaining origin-destination pairs were analyzed, average travel time savings on I-4 ranged between 10 and 16% amounting to 10 minutes at the most with a 10% increase in the network average speed. High propensity of diversion on the network increased significantly when eliminating tolls on SR 417 and SR 528 while doubling the tolls on SR 408 along with the incident and lane closure scenarios on I-4 and with real-time information provided. The toll roads were found to be a viable alternative to I-4 for these specific OD pairs depending on the user perception of the toll cost which was reflected in their specific travel times. However, on the macroscopic level, it was concluded that route diversion through toll reduction or elimination on surrounding toll roads would only have a minimum impact on reducing I-4 congestion during the peak period.

Keywords: congestion pricing, dynamic feedback assignment, microsimulation, paramics, route diversion

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