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Mid-America Transportation Center

Validation of Traffic Simulation Model Output for Work Zone and Mobile Source Emissions Modeling and Integration with Human-in-the-Loop Driving Simulators

Final Report
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Researchers

  • Principal Investigator: Shauna Hallmark (shallmar@iastate.edu 515-294-5249)
  • Project Status
    Complete
    About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    Collection of project level work zone performance measures, (i.e. queue length, travel speed) in the field is difficult because setting up data collection equipment within the work zone can be disruptive and the lack of right-of-way can force data collectors to be situated in unsafe locations. Additionally, the most recent emission model (USEPA's MOVES), requires second-by-second vehicle activity which may require methods such as instrumented vehicles. Consequently, data needs for both types of analyses are resource intensive. In addition to being difficult and time consuming to collect in the field, the operational data necessary for work zone and air quality analyses are highly dependent on traffic volume, fleet composition, traffic control, temporal and environmental conditions, and driver behavior. As a result, integration of micro-simulation and driving simulators provides the ability to capture driver behavior and other factors not normally captured. Integration of micro-simulation with a driving simulator also provides the ability to model more realistic environments within the simulator.
    Research Objective
    The objective of the proposed research is to demonstrate the utility of linking micro-simulation output with work zone and emission models. The project will collect data for several work zone and operational scenarios and develop models with the micro-simulation model, VISSIM. VISSIM output from operational scenarios (speed/acceleration) will be compared to field data to assess the accuracy of micro-simulation models in providing realistic estimates of vehicle activity as input to MOVES. Results will be summarized to demonstrate the applicability of linking micro-simulated vehicle activity data with emissions models to better estimate the emission impacts of different transportation strategies.
    Potential Benefits
    The main results will be a final report, case studies, and a guidebook. The team will also publish 2 to 4 journal papers/conference proceedings on project results. The TRB Committee on Transportation Air Quality and Air and Waste Management Association Mobile Source subcommittees are particularly interested in the integration of micro-simulation models and MOVES. Consequently, the team will work with these organizations to integrate results into workshops at various conferences sponsored by these committees. The team will work with UI to disseminate results of the micro-simulation/simulator work with the human factors community.
    Abstract
    Collection of project level work zone performance measures, (i.e. queue length, travel speed) in the field is difficult because setting up data collection equipment within the work zone can be disruptive and the lack of right-of-way can force data collectors to be situated in unsafe locations. Additionally, the most recent emission model (USEPA's MOVES), requires second-by-second vehicle activity which may require methods such as instrumented vehicles. Consequently, data needs for both types of analyses are resource intensive.

    The objective of the proposed research is to demonstrate the utility of linking micro-simulation output with work zone and emission models. The project will collect data for several work zone and operational scenarios and develop models with the micro-simulation model, VISSIM. Work zone model scenario output (i.e. queue length, travel speed) will be compared to field data and drawbacks in use for analysis of work zone performance measures identified. The utility of using micro-simulation model output for work zone analysis will be documented.

    VISSIM output from operational scenarios (speed/acceleration) will be compared to field data to assess the accuracy of micro-simulation models in providing realistic estimates of vehicle activity as input to MOVES. Results will be summarized to demonstrate the applicability of linking micro-simulated vehicle activity data with emissions models to better estimate the emission impacts of different transportation strategies.

    The team will also work with researchers at the University of Iowa (UI) to take the analysis one step further and integrate micro-simulation model output with driving simulators. UI is preparing a separate proposal for their portion of the work. Completion of most project objectives for this research, however, can be completed independently if the UI proposal is not funded.

    he requested MATC funds will be matched to a project which will be funded by a SWZDI, "Work zone Traffic Performance Measures."
    Project Amount
    $ 46,000