Modeling of inter-vehicular gaps and driver behavior in heterogeneous traffic stream with weak lane discipline

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The traffic stream of developing countries like India is different than that of the developed world, due to two peculiar phenomena- (i) Weak lane-discipline (random placement of vehicles over entire width of the road) and (ii) Presence of heterogeneous or mixed traffic; or large number of vehicle types. In such traffic conditions, reaction of drivers is not just in the form of acceleration or deceleration but also simultaneous veering or lateral movement. Thus, lateral and longitudinal gap-maintaining become important parameters in such traffic stream. Previous studies on such traffic have not incorporated the lateral and longitudinal gap-maintenance behavior in their proposed simulation models extensively. The studies on gap-maintenance need to incorporate (i) weak lane-discipline, (ii) vehicle variability; and (iii) driver variability. Therefore, a comprehensive simulation model incorporating the realistic lateral and longitudinal gap-maintaining behavior of heterogeneous traffic is required.Thus, the goal of this work is to develop a simulation model, which can replicate real world traffic conditions in heterogeneous urban, mid-block traffic stream, incorporating the models of inter-vehicular gaps and driver behavior of such a stream. To achieve this goal, initially, a detailed analysis of lateral and longitudinal gaps and their relationship with speeds and vehicle types is presented. Moreover, factors affecting the decision to overtake are also presented. Thereafter, these developed models are incorporated in the developed simulation model, in addition to set of algorithms governing driver behavior in mixed traffic stream.
Supervisor: Akhilesh Kumar Maurya