It is already necessary in the planning and design phases to be able to determine whether the road network will function according to, among others, the sustainably-safe network requirements. In order to oversee properly the consequences of a traffic plan, plan-makers often use traffic models and traffic simulation models. Traffic models subdivide the potential journeys between origins and destinations of the modal split, and then subdivide the resulting journeys among the routes in the various networks (especially for bicycles, public transport, and motorised vehicles). Traffic simulation models make it possible to follow individual vehicles along a route through a network. The route choice of each simulated vehicle is dependant on several, previously determined, preconditions and on various variables that are a function of: in-vehicle supports, facilities along the road, driver's journey purpose, time of day, and interaction with other traffic. In this way, it is possible, in advance, to study how the route choice changes if there are new or adapted facilities planned along the way, on the road, or in vehicles.
This project will evaluate the available possibilities to influence the motor vehicle driver's route choice in such a way that this route fits the Sustainably-Safe requirement, 'the quickest and safest route must coincide'. With this, the network requirements and other functional Sustainably-Safe requirements are central.
This project delivers a contribution to improving and enhancing existing traffic simulation models concerned with route choice behaviour and effects of route choice influencing.
The sophisticated and validated traffic simulation model offers the possibility of calculating in advance what the effects on route choice are of changes in the road network, as well as the effects of aids to influence the route choice.
Based on the yet to be determined criteria, a traffic simulation model (or perhaps more than one) will be chosen.
- The first step is to make the model (or models) suitable for simulating route choice. Here we are talking about simulating route choice on routes through various sorts of road network: rural, urban, city centre, and transitional areas. The most important point of departure is the sustainably-safe requirement that the fastest and (sustainably-) safest routes coincide.
- The second step is to test the simulated route choice behaviour with actually occurring route choice behaviour. To do this, actually followed routes will be observed or generated by subjects in several pilot areas. The choice of pilot area will be determined by the availability of digitalised road networks and of traffic data on these networks.
- The third and final step involves simulation of route choice aids. These are systems that advise the driver in the vehicle (in-vehicle route choice systems) as well as those that give advice and are positioned above or along the road (roadside route choice systems).