Vehicular ad-hoc network simulations of overtaking maneuvers on two-lane rural highways


Michael Motro, Alice Chu, Junil Choi, Abdul Rawoof Pinjari, Chandra R. Bhat, Joydeep Ghosh, Robert W. Heath, Jr.


Elsevier Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, vol. 72, pp. 60-76, Nov. 2016


The objective of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of a dedicated short-range communication (DSRC)-based wireless vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication system, called the overtaking assistant, devised for improving safety during overtaking (also referred to as passing) maneuvers on two-lane rural highways. Specifically, the paper examines the influence of vehicular kinematics (vehicle speeds, accelerations and distances), driver behavior (drivers' perception/reaction time and overtaking rate), and DSRC characteristics (power settings, communication range, packet errors, sensor errors, and estimation inaccuracy) on the effectiveness of DSRC systems in predicting unsafe overtaking maneuvers. To this end, the paper utilizes a microscopic traffic simulator called VEhicles In Network Simulation (VEINS) that supports the simulation of wireless communication protocols in Vehicular Ad-hoc NEtworks (VANETs). 18,000 overtaking maneuvers - with roughly 10,000 collision maneuvers - were simulated to consider heterogeneity in vehicular kinematics, driver behavior, and DSRC performance. The overtaking assistant predicts whether a collision will occur and warns the driver before the maneuver begins. A descriptive analysis followed by a multivariate analysis (using binary discrete outcome models) of the simulated data reveals that the majority of collisions that could not be detected were due to the vehicles being out of communication range for the communication power settings used in the simulation. Packet errors, or failed communications, at a rate of up to 50% did not have a significant influence on the ability to detect collisions. These results suggest that the most important step in paving the way toward advanced driver assistance systems for rural highway overtaking maneuvers is to broaden the communication range of DSRC devices.