Critical Assessment of Microscopic Simulation Models for Simulating Turbulence around Motorway Ramps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In current motorway design practice, microscopic simulation is used to assess the traffic safety and capacity implications of design variants. Many different simulation packages are available, and many researchers have invested effort in improving and calibrating models that describe driving behavior. This paper examines traffic simulation models for merging situations in high traffic volume. Based on a multicriteria analysis, two simulation software packages (VISSIM version 10 and MOTUS) were selected and calibrated using a recently collected set of rich empirical trajectory data from an on-ramp, an off-ramp, and two weaving segments in the Netherlands. The results show that both packages are as yet unable to simulate turbulent traffic around motorway ramps realistically, in terms of lane change locations and headway distribution. This is a drawback when assessing traffic operations for specific designs. The simulated gap acceptance distributions were found to have comparable shapes as they were derived from empirical data. This is an advantage when assessing the traffic safety of a specific design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04019066
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering Part A: Systems
Volume146
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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