Categorizing Merging and Diverging Strategies of Truck Drivers at Motorway Ramps and Weaving Sections using a Trajectory Dataset

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Abstract

Lane-changing models are essential components for microscopic simulation. Although the literature recognizes that different classes of vehicles have different ways of performing lane-change maneuvers, lane change behavior of truck drivers is an overlooked research area. We propose that truck drivers are heterogeneous in their lane change behavior too and that inter-driver differences within truck drivers exist. We explore lane changing behavior of truck drivers using a trajectory data set collected around motorway bottlenecks in the Netherlands which include on-ramp, off-ramp, and weaving sections. Finite mixture models are used to categorize truck drivers with respect to their merging and diverging maneuvers. Indicator variables include spatial, temporal, kinematic, and gap acceptance characteristics of lane-changing maneuvers. The results suggest that truck drivers can be categorized into two and three categories with respect to their merging and diverging behaviors, respectively. The majority of truck drivers show a tendency to merge or diverge at the earliest possible opportunity; this type of behavior leads to most of the lane change activity at the beginning of motorway bottlenecks, thus contributing to the raised level of turbulence. By incorporating heterogeneity within the lane-changing component, the accuracy and realism of existing microscopic simulation packages can be improved for traffic and safety-related assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-866
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Record
Volume2674
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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