Study of the basic traffic flow characteristics and clear understanding of vehicular interactions are the pre-requisites for highway capacity analysis and to formulate effective traffic management and control measures. The road traffic in India is highly heterogeneous comprising vehicles of wide ranging physical dimensions, weight, power and dynamic characteristics. The problem of measuring volume of such heterogeneous traffic has been addressed by converting the different types of vehicles into equivalent passenger cars and expressing the volume as Passenger Car Unit per hour (PCU/h).
Computer simulation has emerged as an effective technique for modeling traffic flow due to its capability to account for the randomness related to traffic. This paper is concerned with application of a simulation model of heterogeneous traffic flow, named HETEROSIM, to quantify the vehicular interaction, in terms of PCU, for the different categories of vehicles, by considering the traffic flow of representative composition, on upgrades of different magnitudes on intercity roads in India.
The PCU estimates, made through microscopic simulation, for the different types of vehicles of heterogeneous traffic, for a wide range of grades and traffic volume, indicate that the PCU value of a vehicle significantly changes with change in traffic volume, magnitude of upgrade and its length. It is found that, the change in PCU value of vehicles is not significant beyond a length of 1600 m on grades. Also, it has been found that the PCU estimates are accurate at 5% level of significance.