Estimation of Heavy Vehicle Passenger Car Equivalents for On-Ramp Adjacent Zones Under Different Traffic Volumes: A Case Study

  • Xu Wang
  • Weiwei QiEmail author
  • Mina Ghanbarikarekani
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 98)


Due to the difference in operational characteristic, heavy vehicles have been viewed as a hindrance in traffic flow and capacity analysis. The emergence of passenger car equivalents (PCE) can assist traffic agencies in better understanding the impact of heavy vehicles on passenger vehicles in the mixed traffic stream, by converting a heavy vehicle of a subject class into the equivalent number of passenger cars. However, according to existing literature, most researchers have devoted to the estimation of PCE for basic freeway sections. Therefore, in this study, we explore the variation of heavy vehicle PCE for on-ramp adjacent zones under varying traffic volume. A one-lane on-ramp in Queensland, Australia, is selected for a case study and four existing PCE approaches are applied in the calculation of PCE. They are homogenization based method, time headway based method, traffic flow based method, and multiple regression method, respectively. The final PCE values are compared to those derived from VISSIM simulation model. The following conclusions are drawn: (1) homogenization based method cannot reveal the variation trend of PCE factors over traffic volume; (2) the results obtained through time headway and traffic flow based methods are more consistent with outcome from simulation model.


Passenger car equivalents Passenger car units Freeway capacity VISSIM simulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Griffith School of EngineeringGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.School of Civil Engineering and TransportationSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia

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