Assessing the Influence of Adverse Weather on Traffic Flow Characteristics Using a Driving Simulator and VISSIM
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© 2019 by the authors. The occurrence of adverse weather exacerbates traffic flow conditions, often leading to severe traffic congestions. Many studies have been conducted based on field-collected data to obtain the effects of weather on traffic flow characteristics. However, there is a limitation for filed data-based studies, in that weather conditions and traffic conditions are both noncontrollable and nonrepeatable, making it difficult to comprehensively assess the influence of weather conditions, especially the rare extreme weather conditions, on traffic flow characteristics. This paper proposes to assess these effects with the combination of driving simulator and traffic simulation. A driving simulator can collect driving behavior by conducting weather-related driving simulation experiments, while a microscopic traffic simulation program can evaluate the changes in traffic flow characteristics by inputting driving behavior parameters coming from the driving simulator. The proposed method can overcome the limitation of the field data-based approach. In this paper, the structure of the assessment platform is introduced at first. Then a verification experiment is conducted to measure the influences of adverse weather conditions on traffic flow characteristics. The verification experiment results show that the influences of adverse weather on traffic flow characteristics have consistent tendencies with outcomes from previous research and demonstrate that the method is practicable for the analysis of the influence of weather on traffic flow characteristics. This paper provides a practical way to analyze the influence of weather on traffic flow from driving behavior's point of view.
author list (cited authors)
Chen, C., Zhao, X., Liu, H., Ren, G., Zhang, Y., & Liu, X.