IMPACT OF LEVEL 3 HIGHLY AUTOMATED VEHICLE ON WEAVING SEGMENT
Weaving Segment plays a key role of mobility in the state and county highway systems. It is also discovered that around 10% capacity drop occurs within the weaving segment. The reduced discharged flow rate produces delays within the roadway system together with the delay caused by lane changing. Recently, the level 3 autonomous vehicle developing rapidly by many manufactures and it is expected to operate on roadway in the near future. The level 3 autonomous vehicle is expected to travel on roadway concurrently with the manual vehicle and will soon take up the market share in the future. Therefore, it is important to know how weaving segment operations may be affected so that the traffic managing and planning department can be ready for the imminent deployment of freeway driving ready automated vehicles. This thesis aims to find how level 3 automated vehicle may affect the freeway capacity and capacity drop by using VISSIM as a microsimulation tool. Various scenarios were set up in the VISSIM freeway network to investigate how different percentages of level 3 automated vehicles in the traffic mix may change the freeway capacity and capacity drop. The effect on capacity and capacity drop from different merge strategies has also been studied by setting up scenarios with late merge strategies and early merge strategies as to provide guidance to connectivity design.