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Investigation of driving cycles as tools to assess travel demand management in Edinburgh and Abu Dhabi

Al Zaidi, Ahmed


Ahmed Al Zaidi


Traffic congestion today is a major problem in almost all of the metropolitan areas of the world. An increasing level of congestion results in negative impacts on the urban environment. These include environmental pollution, energy problems and traffic accidents. The analysis of these problems and the predictions of the impacts of any transport policies that could be devised to deal with them are very critical to their success. Traffic problems are almost the same in most modern cities either in developed countries or less economically developed countries.
The driving cycle for a vehicle is the representation of a speed–time sequenced profile, which is developed for a specific area or city. It is an important requirement in the evaluation of the driver’s behaviour and the performance of vehicles for a number of applications, mainly in the area of environmental studies. For example, fuel consumption and emissions’ predictions need information input on the characteristics of driving patterns of traffic. The applications of driving cycle analysis can be extended however, to many more other areas. The motivation for this research is to investigate the detailed impacts of travel demand management (TDM) measures, that
are already in application. This is to improve the network performance, using driving cycle analysis. It is important to explicitly assess these measures using a micro-level detailed approach in order to comprehend overall results in terms of emissions and network performance. These understandings will benefit government agencies and policy makers in their planning and appraisals. It will also benefit public transport providers to improve their service in attracting and retaining their customers.
The developments of the real world driving cycles in Edinburgh and Abu Dhabi have been presented in this research. The analysis of real world data, which has been obtained from monitoring traffic conditions in both cities using the GPS tracking of traffic, is presented. This data was collected from trips which have been carried out on a number of traffic corridors in both cities. The assessment of various parameters of traffic (i.e. speed, time percentage spent on acceleration, deceleration, idling, cruising and cycle duration) and their statistical validity, produced a real world driving cycle for the buses as well as the private cars. Two TDM measures have been considered; bus lanes and traffic calming measures. At each corridor, a handheld GPS device was used to record speed, acceleration, deceleration and distances driven. This data enabled the analysis of driving cycles for the buses and for the private cars. The driving cycle analysis and investigations have further been investigated using regression analysis techniques. The results suggest that the approach shows potential but further research is needed with more data available. The results suggest that the driving cycle analysis approach would be very useful to have a better understanding of driving behaviour and also the detailed impacts of the transport policies on traffic. In terms of bus lanes and traffic calming measures, the results show some positive impacts of these policies, while there are evidences of some negative impacts as well. These findings would be very valuable for the policy decision makers. It is recommended from this research that the driving cycle analysis could be utilised effectively in the assessment of TDM measures. Further investigations and analysis of driving cycle is urgently recommended in a number of research directions. Combined GIS and GPS data could also enhance the development in this research.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Mar 6, 2013
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Traffic congestion; transport policies; urban environment; environmental pollution; energy problems;traffic accidents; driving cycle; speed–time sequenced profile;
Public URL
Contract Date Mar 6, 2013
Award Date 2013-02


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