Adverse weather has significant impacts on road conditions and traffic dynamics. It is observed that adverse weather as a set of exogenous factors lowers the free flow speed, shifts critical density, decreases flow capacity, and makes the freeway more prone to congestion. This paper proposes a weather factor model to be plugged into a macroscopic traffic prediction model, so that under bad weather traffic variables can be more accurately and reasonably estimated and predicted for traffic control use. To be specific, weather-specific fundamental diagrams are built by introducing weather factors to free flow speed, capacity, and critical density. The weather factors are modelled by selected weather measurements. Weather factor parameters are trained by recent historical weather and traffic data and then can be put into real-time macro traffic prediction and control. The traffic prediction model in the case study is METANET model, in which fundamental diagram parameters are one source of input. The weather-specific prediction error and conventional prediction error are compared. Real data collected by loop detectors on Whitemud Drive, Edmonton, Canada, is used for parameter calibration and prediction error evaluation. The results show that the proposed weather models reasonably improved the accuracy of macro traffic state prediction model compared to conventional model.
Document type: Article
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