Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Thobias Sando

Second Advisor

Dr, Christopher Brown

Third Advisor

Dr. Brian Kopp

Department Chair

Dr. Murat Tiryakioglu

College Dean

Dr. Mark A. Tumeo


The connected vehicle technology presents an innovative way of sharing information between vehicles and the transportation infrastructure through wireless communications. The technology can potentially solve safety, mobility, and environmental challenges that face the transportation sector. Signal phasing and timing information is one category of information that can be broadcasted through connected vehicle technology. This thesis presents an in-depth study of possible ways signal phasing and timing information can be beneficial as far as safety and mobility are concerned. In total, three studies describing this research are outlined.

The first study presented herein focuses on data collection and calibration efforts of the simulation model that was used for the next two studies. The study demonstrated a genetic algorithm procedure for calibrating VISSIM discharge headways based on queue discharge headways measured in the field. Video data was used to first compute intersection discharge headways for individual vehicle queue position and then to develop statistical distributions of discharge headways for each vehicle position. Except for the 4th vehicle position, which was best fitted by the generalized extreme value (GEV) distribution, the Log-logistic distribution was observed to be the best fit distribution for the rest of vehicle positions. Starting with the default values, the VISSIM parameters responsible for determining discharge headways were heuristically adjusted to produce optimal values. The optimal solutions were achieved by minimizing the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) between the simulated and observed data. Through calibration, for each vehicle position, it was possible to obtain the simulated headways that reflect the means of the observed field headways. However, calibration was unable to replicate the dispersion of the headways observed in the field mainly due to VISSIM limitations. Based on the findings of this study, future work on calibration in VISSIM that would account for the dispersion of mixed traffic flow characteristics is warranted.

The second study addresses the potential of connected vehicles in improving safety at the vicinity of signalized intersections. Although traffic signals are installed to reduce the overall number of collisions at intersections, rear-end collisions are increased due to signalization. One dominant factor associated with rear-end crashes is the indecisiveness of the driver, especially in the dilemma zone. An advisory system to help the driver make the stop-or-pass decision would greatly improve intersection safety. This study proposed and evaluated an Advanced Stop Assist System (ASAS) at signalized intersections by using Infrastructure-to-Vehicle (I2V) and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication. The proposed system utilizes communication data, received from Roadside Unit (RSU), to provide drivers in approaching vehicles with vehicle-specific advisory speed messages to prevent vehicle hard-braking upon a yellow and red signal indication. A simulation test bed was modeled using VISSIM to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed system. The results demonstrate that at full market penetration (100% saturation of vehicles equipped with on-board communication equipment), the proposed system reduces the number of hard-braking vehicles by nearly 50%. Sensitivity analyses of market penetration rates also show a degradation in safety conditions at penetration rates lower than 40%. The results suggest that at least 60% penetration rate is required for the proposed system to minimize rear-end collisions and improve safety at the signalized intersections.

The last study addresses the fact that achieving smooth urban traffic flow requires reduction of excessive stop-and-go driving on urban arterials. Smooth traffic flow comes with several benefits including reduction of fuel consumption and emissions. Recently, more research efforts have been directed towards reduction of vehicle emissions. One such effort is the use of Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) systems which use wireless communications to provide individual drivers with information on the approaching traffic signal phase and advisory speeds to arrive at the intersection on a green phase. Previously developed GLOSA algorithms do not address the impact of time to discharge queues formed at the intersection. Thus, this study investigated the influence of formed intersection queues on the performance of GLOSA systems. A simulation test-bed was modeled inside VISSIM to evaluate the algorithm’s effectiveness. Three simulation scenarios were designed; the baseline with no GLOSA in place, scenario 2 with GLOSA activated and queue discharge time not considered, and scenario 3 with GLOSA activated and where queue dissipation time was used to compute advisory speeds. At confidence level the results show a significant reduction in the time spent in queue when GLOSA is activated (scenarios 2 and 3). The change in the average number of stops along the corridor was found not to be significant when the base scenario was compared against scenario 2. However, a comparison between scenarios 2 and 3 demonstrates a significant reduction in the average number of stops along the corridor, and also in the time spent waiting in queues