Short-term prediction of safety and operation impacts of lane changes in oscillations with empirical vehicle trajectories
Highlights•A model was developed to predict crash risks of lane changes based on trajectory data.•A quantitative relationship between traffic status and lane change impacts was verified.•A good transferability was found when proposed model was applied in different dataset.•Sensitivity analyses were conducted for how traffic parameters influenced crash risks.•We compared lane change impacts for various vehicle types and lane change directions.AbstractLane changes made during traffic oscillations on freeways largely affect traffic safety and could increase collision potentials. Predicting the impacts of lane change can help to develop optimal lane change strategies of autonomous vehicles for safety improvement. The study aims at proposing a machine learning method for the short-term prediction of lane-changing impacts (LCI) during the propagation of traffic oscillations. The empirical lane-changing trajectory records were obtained from the Next Generation Simulation (NGSIM) platform. A support vector regression (SVR) model was trained in this study to predict the LCI on the crash risks and flow change using microscopic traffic variables such as individual speed, gap and acceleration on both original lanes and target lanes. Sensitivity analyses were conducted in the SVR to quantify the contributions of correlative lane changing factors. The results showed that the trained SVR model achieved an accuracy of 72.81 % for the risk of crashes and 95.34 % in predicting the flow change. The sensitivity analysis explored the optimal speed and acceleration for the lane changer to achieve the lowest time integrated time-to-collision (TIT) value for safety maximization. Finally, we compared the LCI for motorcycles, automobiles and trucks as well as the LCI for both lane-changing directions (from left to right and from right to left). It was found that motorcycles conducted lane changes with smaller gaps and larger speed differences, which brings the highest crash risks. Passenger cars were found to be the safest when they conduct lane changes. Lane changes to the right had more negative impacts on traffic flow and crash risks.
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