According to literature, the analysis of traffic conditions and operating speeds are of main importance for road engineers. The traditional approach is based on observations and surveys on the road. Under this empirical view, traffic is studied in a specific road section according to the Eulerian analysis. Dynamic measurements of vehicles while driving are very difficult to be performed. On the basis of their experience in interactive driving simulation in virtual reality environment, the authors evaluate the possibility of studying, through simulation, the traffic unsteady flow under a Lagrangian approach. This new perspective becomes possible to be investigated because the simulation technologies are naturally more suitable for analyzing the variability of traffic, speeds, trajectories and dynamic conditions of vehicles along all the route. This paper shows the results of a large number of experiments intended to verify the feasibility and the significance of this new methodology for experimental analysis. The experiments have been carried out considering different traffic flows; for each condition, the kinematic and dynamic parameters, the position and lateral displacement of the vehicles and other parameters of a significant numbers of drivers have been processed. The conclusion of the study confirms the reliability of the method, moreover the simulation technology makes it possible to develop, under repeatible conditions, so many experiments that the statistical significance increases greatly rather than the traditional approach based on the real truth observations.
DE BLASIIS, M.R., Guattari, M.C. (2007). Virtual reality simulation for un steady traffic flow analysis. In International Conference on Road Safety and Simulation. ROMA : Aracne.