Optimising merging behaviour through ITS

Our world is constantly shifting and the pace of change is only increasing. Perhaps, the most important change is the exponential increase in the global population over the last decades. New cities have been developed, while the already existing ones have experienced an unprecedented growth as people shifted from rural to urban areas. At the same time, the need for transportation of both goods and people has become of paramount importance.

To facilitate this ever growing need, a large infrastructure system has been build. The infrastructure network includes many physical components such as roads, tunnels and bridges. Indisputably, freeways are a significant part of that network. The latter can be only accessed by short roads named on-ramps. The freeway sections around on-ramps are often witnessing intense turbulent traffic conditions, which result inter alia in the degradation of the level of traffic safety.

At the moment, the merging process is performed mostly manually, without the assistance of Intelligent Support Systems (ITS). The on-ramp drivers merge onto the mainline when there is sufficient gap for them. However, the merging behavior varies from driver to driver. The objective of this thesis is to develop a merging driving system and evaluate its impacts on traffic safety. For this reason, multiple traffic simulations will be performed. In particular, to analysis traffic safety, the concept of surrogate safety measures is applied. These indirect indicators enable the possibility of calculating the kinematics of a crash event and are ideal for comparing a do-nothing case with an adapted situation.

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