CUED Publications database

Effects of longer heavy vehicles on traffic congestion

Morrison, G and Roebuck, RL and Cebon, D (2014) Effects of longer heavy vehicles on traffic congestion. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, 228. pp. 970-988. ISSN 0954-4062

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Two-lane, "microscopic" (vehicle-by-vehicle) simulations of motorway traffic are developed using existing models and validated using measured data from the M25 motorway. An energy consumption model is also built in, which takes the logged trajectories of simulated vehicles as drive-cycles. The simulations are used to investigate the effects on motorway congestion and fuel consumption if "longer and/or heavier vehicles" (LHVs) were to be permitted in the UK. Baseline scenarios are simulated with traffic composed of cars, light goods vehicles and standard heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). A proportion of conventional articulated HGVs is then replaced by a smaller number of LHVs carrying the same total payload mass and volume. Four LHV configurations are investigated: an 18.75 m, 46 t longer semi-trailer (LST); 25.25 m, 50 t and 60 t B-doubles and a 34 m, 82 t A-double. Metrics for congestion, freight fleet energy consumption and car energy consumption are defined for comparing the scenarios. Finally, variation of take-up level and LHV engine power for the LST and A-double are investigated. It is concluded that: (a) LHVs should reduce congestion particularly in dense traffic, however, a low mean proportion of freight traffic on UK roads and low take-up levels will limit this effect to be almost negligible; (b) LHVs can significantly improve the energy efficiency of freight fleets, giving up to a 23% reduction in fleet energy consumption at high take-up levels; (c) the small reduction in congestion caused by LHVs could improve the fuel consumption of other road users by up to 3% in dense traffic, however in free-flowing traffic an opposite effect occurs due to higher vehicle speeds and aerodynamic losses; and (d) underpowered LHVs have potential to generate severe congestion, however current manufacturers' recommendations appear suitable. © 2013 IMechE.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div C > Applied Mechanics
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:16
Last Modified: 22 May 2018 07:53