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Influence of lateral discomfort on the stability of traffic flow based on visual angle car-following model


  • Zheng, Liang
  • Zhong, Shiquan
  • Jin, Peter J.
  • Ma, Shoufeng


Due to the poor road markings and irregular driving behaviors, not every vehicle is positioned in the center of the lane. The deviation from the center can cause discomfort to drivers in the neighboring lane, which is referred to as lateral discomfort (or lateral friction). Such lateral discomfort can be incorporated into the driver stimulus–response framework by considering the visual angle and its changing rate from the psychological viewpoint. In this study, a two-lane visual angle based car-following model is proposed and its stability condition is obtained through linear stability theory. Further derivations indicate that the neutral stability line of the model is asymmetry and four factors including the vehicle width and length, the lateral separation and the sensitivity regarding the changing rate of visual angle have large impacts on the stability of traffic flow. Numerical simulations further verify these theoretical results, and demonstrate that the behaviors of diverging, merging and lane changing can break the original steady state and cause traffic fluctuations. However, these fluctuations may be alleviated to some extent by reducing the lateral discomfort.

Suggested Citation

  • Zheng, Liang & Zhong, Shiquan & Jin, Peter J. & Ma, Shoufeng, 2012. "Influence of lateral discomfort on the stability of traffic flow based on visual angle car-following model," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(23), pages 5948-5959.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:391:y:2012:i:23:p:5948-5959
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2012.06.069

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    Cited by:

    1. Bouadi, M. & Jetto, K. & Benyoussef, A. & Kenz, A., 2016. "The effect of lateral interaction on traffic flow," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 460(C), pages 76-87.


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