Estimating passenger car equivalent of heavy vehicles at roundabout entry using micro-traffic simulation
Journal article, 2019
Passenger Car Equivalent (PCE) is a unit used to represent the impact of a large vehicle on a road by expressing it as the number of equivalent passenger vehicles. This paper focuses on estimating the PCE of various sized heavy vehicles in roundabouts with respect to different entry flow rates. A single-lane roundabout was tested under predefined mixed traffic and demand scenarios in VISSIM micro-simulation environments. The individual and group behavior of four separate heavy-vehicle types were tested: single-unit trucks, buses, small semitrailers, and large semitrailers. The obtained PCE values were found to be on average lower than those suggested in the United States guidelines for roundabouts. The estimated PCE values for heavy vehicles in mixed traffic conditions are 1.30 for single unit trucks, 1.40 for small semitrailers, 1.60 for buses, and 1.70 for large semitrailers. Additional factors such as varying inflow (balanced, unbalanced, and congested traffic) show direct influences on the PCE values. The PCE value under these conditions ranged from 1.25 to 1.75 for smaller vehicles (single-unit trucks, buses, and small semitrailers) and 1.45–2.10 for larger heavy vehicles (large semitrailers). A general equation was developed based on the data to relate vehicle proportions and heavy-vehicle reduction factors that would be useful for professionals to analyze the operational performance of roundabouts with better accuracy.
Passenger car equivalent