Traffic Information and Individual Driver Behaviour
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Research Questions In order to exploit the capacity of the existing infrastructures, many investigations for traffic management systems have already been conducted. Despite of high investigations the impact of different management systems is only known partially. Thus, the following questions are addressed in this study: How should traffic information be designed to correspond best to the individual sensation? Is there an appreciable impact on route choice behaviour by radio traffic service, variable traffic signs, or navigation systems? What are the options for operators to reduce traffic flow on overloaded streets without traffic diverts on other routes? Methodology and results The mentioned questions were addressed in the research project “wiki—impact of individual and collective ontrip traffic management on the traffic flow in urban networks”. The project was focused on individual and collective traffic management systems in urban networks. Therefore three different types of systems were taken into consideration that affects route choice: radio traffic service, variable traffic signs, and navigation systems. To quantify the impact, the traffic behaviour of car drivers was evaluated by different observation methods in a field test in Munich: ANPR—automatic number plate recognition, GPS-logging and interviews, driving simulator. The test field covered the northern part of Munich, including highways as well as urban streets. Overall 51 ANPR cameras had been installed on 22 control sections. But the project was not only focused on the objective traffic state but also on individual factors for route choice behaviour. The comprehensive amount of 300 people had been tracked for 8 weeks by GPS-logs and interviewed about their individual aspects and motivations. The test revealed that the route choice behaviour was mainly influenced by the travel time. The test persons showed high preference to stay on the main route and were only willing to change to the alternative route if a considerable threshold of travel time increase was obtained. Thereby, the individual behaviour was mainly influenced by radio traffic service and the traffic state displayed in the navigation map. Particularly another test in the driving simulator with additional 40 test persons gave knowledge of subjective motivation and also regarding the influence of familiarity with the network. The test persons rated the traffic information and classified colour scales during and after the simulator drives. This was the base for significant research results of a user friendly layout of traffic information. New aspects and limitations of the study Route choice is affected by many aspects. Especially the individual behaviour has high impact but is sophisticated to study. Thus, this study was focused not on theoretical aspects or simulation but on a widespread empirical field test. The combination of different observation methods made it possible to collect the determining factors on route choice and to give indications for operators how to provide traffic information best. The test field covered highways as well as urban streets. Thus, the research results gave new indications how to design traffic information especially in urban areas and in networks that the drivers are familiar with. Conclusion The study gives significant results what kind of individual aspects the route choice behaviour affects based on a wide field test. On this basis recommendations are made which traffic management systems have the best influence on the driver behaviour. In addition it was analysed how traffic information should be designed.
KeywordsTraffic information Navigation Route choice Traffic state Traffic management system
- 1.BMW AG et al (2012) wiki—Wirkungen von individueller und kollektiver ontrip Verkehrsbeeinflussung auf den Verkehr in Ballungsräumen. gemeinsamer Schlussbericht zum Forschungsprojekt ‘wiki’ gefördert durch das Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und TechnologieGoogle Scholar