Colliding Particles: Beyond Accident-Free Car Following Models
This paper explores specifications of microscopic traffic models that could capture congestion dynamics and model accident-prone behaviors on a highway section in greater realism than models currently used in practice. A comparative assessment of several major acceleration models is conducted, especially in regards to congestion formation and incident modeling. Based on this assessment, alternative specifications for a car-following/lane changing model are developed and implemented in a microscopic simulation framework. The models are calibrated and compared in terms of resulting vehicle trajectories and macroscopic flow-density relationships. Experiments are conducted with the models under different degrees of relaxation of the safety constraints typically applied in conjunction with simulation codes used in practice. The ability of the proposed specifications to capture traffic behavior in extreme situations is examined. The results suggest that these specifications offer an improved basis for microscopic traffic simulation for situations that do not require an accident free environment. As such, the same basic behavior model structure could accommodate both extreme situations (evacuation scenarios, over-saturated networks) as well as “normal” daily traffic conditions.
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