Since the 1980s, traffic volumes have experienced a rapid growth of approximately 30% in Indiana. Traffic data indicates that more than 70% of vehicles travel in platoons on Indiana highway corridors in the vicinity of urban areas. At a rural highway intersection consisting of a major road with high traffic volume and a minor road with low traffic volume, it is very common that the green time cannot be used efficiently, especially when the vehicle detectors on the major road are imbedded close to the intersection. In Indiana, most of the traffic signal timing systems operate well. However, these systems do not allow for considering the presence of vehicle platoons on major roads. For a semi-actuated or fully actuated signal control, the green on the major road is often terminated at the intersection due to the arrival of vehicles on the minor road. Vehicle platoons are often stopped to give the right-of-way to the minor traffic, even only a single vehicle. As a result, vehicle platoons are delayed, and the green time is not efficiently used. If this can be improved, traffic delay will be reduced. This study, as the second phase of a two-phase study of vehicle platoons, was conducted to improve traffic control at intersections on Indiana rural corridor. Major parameters of the vehicle platoon characteristics include platoon headway, inter-platoon headway, platoon size and platoon speed. Platoon behaviors and distribution patterns were identified with respect to these parameters. A platoon-based adaptive algorithm was derived for traffic signal timing. A simulation computer program was developed for analyzing the performance of platoon-based traffic control systems and effects of the key platoon related traffic measurements.

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Vehicle Platoon, Traffic Control, Intersection, Signal Timing, Traffic Delay, Simulation, SPR-2396

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Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

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