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

Project Details







Mid-America Transportation Center

Principal Investigator
Shauna Hallmark

Director, InTrans

Co-Principal Investigator
Susan Chrysler
Student Researcher(s)
Nicole Oneyear

About the research

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. In addition, the most recent emission model, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (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 this 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.

The requested Mid-America Transportation Center (MATC) funds will be matched to a project funded by the Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative (SWZDI) titled Work Zone Safety Performance Measures.