Current lane-based microscopic traffic simulators combine car-following and lane changing logic to describe the (often discrete) lateral vehicle motion on multi-lane road segments. However, the simulated lateral trajectories are physically unplausible and inside-lane behavior such as lane-keeping and curve negotiation cannot be modelled. In this work, we integrate lateral vehicle dynamics and yaw motion into a traffic simulation framework, aiming to describe lateral motion and vehicle interactions with more precision. The resulting framework consists of two coupled layers, an upper tactical level that plans maneuvers such as lane-changing; and a lower operational layer with a control module (steering and acceleration control) that operates in a closed loop with the bicycle model of vehicle dynamics. The feedback mechanism between the layers allows for dynamic trajectory re-planning. Unlike the microscopic traffic models, the proposed framework accounts for lateral vehicle dynamics and yaw motion; provides additional variables such as vehicle heading and front wheel steering angle; and is hence termed as submicroscopic. Case study results demonstrate the power of the framework to include lateral maneuvers such as curve negotiation, corrective steering, lane change abortion and fragmented lane changing. The framework was operationalized to model multi-lane traffic flow consisting of human-driven vehicles. At the macroscopic level, the traffic flow simulation can reproduce phenomena such as capacity drop. Thus the framework preserves the properties of the component models and at the same time describe the continuous 2-D planar movement of vehicles.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 May 2020

    Research areas

  • Traffic model, submicroscopic, microscopic, hybrid, multilane

ID: 72825281