Modelling of transport systems

Transport systems for passengers and freight are key to our society and economy. Transport model are used to optimize the performance of transport systems with respect to throughput and level of service, under conditions with respect to traffic safety and air quality. The theme and chair transport modelling focuses on the observation, modelling and optimization of the individual and collective behaviour of travelers and drivers, with special attention for multimodal trips and the impacts of ICT. The main research directions are traveller and driver behaviour, design and evaluation of multimodal transport networks and intelligent traveller and driver assistance systems. Typical applications systems are pricing measures, electic vehicles, multimodal travel information, dynamic route guidance and driver assistance systems. The impacts are studied on driving and travel behaviour, including the induced impacts on traffic flow and transport demand characteristics. Typical methodologies are methods for data collection and analysis, modeling of the perception, information processing and decision making by driver and travelers (including the valuation of internal and external costs), functional system design and optimization, simulation tools and dynamic traffic assignment models.

1. Traveller and driver behaviour

Behaviour of travellers is key to many transport models, as traffic is not a merely physical process, but rather a result of choices that people make. Such choices include long term strategic decisions (e.g., residential location, car ownership), medium term tactical decisions (e.g., activity choice, mode choice, departure time choice), or short term operational decisions (e.g., route choice, speed choice). These choices are captured into models that are based on theories in psychology ,economics and system control such as discrete choice models and control models. Different factors that influence choice behaviour can be included and preferences can be estimated using choice data, such as real life observations (revealed choice) or outcomes from surveys with hypothetical questions (stated choice). Driving behaviour can be studied using data from field tests and from driving and travel choice simulators. An important part of the research deals with how people respond to certain incentives and systems, such as road pricing or travel and traffic information (such as multimodal travel information, parking, route guidance, speed advice and speed control).


2. Multimodal networks modelling and design

Multimodal transport combines the strengths of both private and public modes and is an important measure for improving the accessibility of city centres. However, what should a multimodal transport network look like? In order to answer this question four subtopics are studied: travel behaviour, network modelling, network design, and the influence of reliability.

First of all, how do travellers use multimodal transport networks, that is, which combinations of modes, choice of main mode, transfers nodes, access modes, egress modes, boarding and alighting nodes. Multimodal travel behaviour modelling requires the use of advanced choice models, e.g. Path-size Logit and Generalized Nested Logit. For these analyses use is made of the National Travel Survey (OVG, MON) .
Secondly, how should multimodal networks be modelled? Classical transport modelling approaches make clear distinction between slow modes, car and public transport, and therefore ignore the variation in modes that are used in practice. Current research is focused on a supernetwork approach in which the networks of the various modes are combined in a single network. After explicitly generating choice sets, route choice and mode choice can be performed simultaneously in this supernetwork.

Thirdly, the network design itself. Modelling approaches are developed for determining optimal network characteristics for both private and public transport modes, and of course multimodal transport systems. Especially in the case of multimodal networks it is important to take into account the different actors involved in the design process, e.g. for different network levels, different modes, and infrastructure and transport services. Game theory appears to offer an interesting framework to study multi-actor design problems.

Finally, reliability is an important issue in multimodal network design as well. Traditional network design approaches consider only simplified situations where all necessary data are known and fixed and the system performs as planned. In reality, demand varies over time and space, transport service systems will deviate from the schedule and even have failures, while infrastructure is not always available, either due to maintenance or to accidents.

Contact: R. van Nes

3 Intelligent traveller and driver assistance systems

Advances in information and communication technology have opened up a vast array of new support systems for traveller and drivers. Ubiquitous location bases services provide a traveller with real time information for trip planning, inclusing mode and departure time choice. Navigation systems safely and efficiently guide drivers to their destination, taking into account the prevailing traffic conditions. Driver support systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Support support the tactical and operational driving tasks. The next generation of intelligent traveller and driver assistance systems will use communication between hand-held systems, terminals, vehicles, road-side systems and back offices. Our research focuses on the development and evaluation of the functional operation of the systems. It includes the development of algorithms for mode, departure time and route advice as well as control strategies for car following and lane changing. Next we focus on the development of driver models that include the behavioural response to intelligent traveller and driver assistance systems. Finally, we use dynamic traffic assigment as well as traffic flow simulation models to evaluate the contribution of intelligent traveller and driver assistance systems under different traffic flow conditions, levels of market penetration of the systems and behavioural responses.

Contact: B. van Arem

Publications: Metis

Research projects:


Priscilla Hanselaar
Room: 4.11
Telephone: +31 (15) 27 89341

Name author: Webredactie T&P
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