On the Application of Traffic Micro-Simulation To Road Environments in Different Regions

Geertje Hegeman
Serge Hoogendoorn

New areas of application of traffic micro-simulation models are currently being explored. Examples include analysis of Intelligent Transportation Systems, safety assessments and vehicle emissions studies. Many of these new applications depend on reliable and representative simulated vehicle trajectories. The traffic simulation models used for these applications must therefore model driver/vehicle behavior with greater detail than what is necessary for traditional traffic engineering applications. In this paper, we argue that this increased model complexity may reduce the applicability of the models to other situations with different driver/vehicle behavior. Such situations include simulation of traffici n different countries or regions as well as simulation of road environments with different properties. The objective of the paper is to bring focus to modeling considerations that are important for today’s increasingly detailed traffic micro-simulation applications. Model application to traffic in different regions is exemplified by a case study in which the Rural Traffic Simulator developed in Sweden is applied to simulation of traffic on a Dutch two-lane highway. Simulation of traffic in different regions and new model applications is to a certain extent facilitated by the model calibration and validation. The high level of detail of micro-simulation models may however require use of different modeling assumptions for different applications. Advances in vehicle trajectory measurement techniques will allow developments of more detailed traffic microsimulation models. It is therefore increasingly important that the models are estimated and cross-validated using data sets that are collected in the regions and traffic conditions that the models are developed for.

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