Connected Vehicle Enabled Freeway Merge Management – Field Test
Smith, Brian L.
Hayat, Md Tanveer
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Freeway congestion is a major problem of the transportation system, resulting in major economic loss in terms of traffic delays and fuel costs. With connected vehicle (CV) technologies, more proactive traffic management strategies are possible. The Freeway Merge Assistance System (FMAS) can implement innovative ramp management strategies by providing personalized advisories to individual drivers to ensure smoother merging. The benefits anticipated from these strategies will completely depend on the advisory compliance of the drivers; this, in turn, will be influenced by situational as well as individual behavioral factors. The purpose of this research was to investigate drivers’ responses to this new generation of personalized in-vehicle advisory messages. A field test was conducted with naïve human subjects to collect driver behavior data about different types of advisory messages under different traffic scenarios in a controlled environment. The data gathered from the field test indicated that the compliance rate was higher when a large- or medium-size gap was available for a lane change. The lowest compliance rate was observed for a small-gap scenario. In addition, it was discovered that more drivers would follow a direct advisory message that advised a lane change rather than an indirect message which was meant to stimulate a lane change through speed control.