Strategies for Lane Change Choice

In practice, microscopic traffic simulation models are often used for the analysis and management of transport systems. These models simulate the movement of individual vehicles by using a carfollowing model for the longitudinal behaviour of drivers and lane change model for their lateral behaviour. However, current lane change models cannot simulate all driving behaviour that is seen in reality. Therefore, recent work has studied driving behaviour by means of driving experiments in combination with interviews to get insight in motives behind driving behaviour. This work revealed that drivers apply four different lane change strategies when driving on motorways:

1. Speed leading: Drivers settle for a speed and try to keep that speed. When they encounter a slower vehicle in front of them in the current lane they will change lanes so that they can maintain their speed.
2. Speed leading with overtaking: This strategy is almost similar as the ’speed leading’ strategy. However, in this strategy drivers consider changing lanes when they encounter a slower predecessor as overtaking and will accelerate while doing so.
3. Lane leading: Drivers choose a lane based on their perceived relative driving speed and will adapt their speed to the vehicles in that lane.
4. Traffic leading: Drivers have no desired lane or speed but copy the speed of other drivers on the road, which could either be the faster or slower ones.

A model in which these four lane change models are incorporated cannot be used yet, since the lane change strategies need more quantification and the parameters require further calibration and validation. The main objective of this study is to quantify the use of the four lane change strategies by drivers on motorways. More specific, this study aims to reveal how many drivers apply each of the four lane change strategies, and what factors influence the distribution of drivers over these strategies.

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