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Lovell to study car-following behavior

ISR-affiliated Assistant Professor David Lovell (CEE); his student, Mr. Taehyung Kim; and visiting professor Dr. Yongjin Park from Daegu, Korea, have received a new National Science Foundation award. "Observation and Modeling of Variability in Car-Following Behavior" is a $143,554 grant that runs for two years.

This study aims to observe and analyze the car-following behavior of subjects who do not know they are part of an experiment, and to develop a model that can explain the stochastic effects in car-following behavior across and within drivers, as well as those caused by variability of critical factors such as human characteristics, traffic and road characteristics, and environmental characteristics.

This is a significant improvement over previous empirical studies, conducted sparingly by pairs of trained professional traffic engineers on closed test tracks. The results of this project should contribute significantly to the development of more realistic microscopic car-following laws that incorporate variation across and within individual drivers.

A combination of inertial, GPS, infrared sensing, and video equipment will be used to collect the data. The lead (control) vehicle will be driven by an experimenter, but it is the behavior of the follower (random members of the driving population) that will be observed. Video will be used for manual confirmation of recorded events, as well as to record certain characteristics that might play a statistically relevant role, including human, traffic and road, and environmental parameters.

September 4, 2002


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