Analysis of Lane Changing Behavior of Passenger Cars on the Freeway Using UAVs

MA Xiao-long1 YU Qiang1 LIU Jian-bei2,3 MA Yuan-yuan2,3

(1.School of Automobile, Chang’an University, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China 710064)
(2.CCCC First Highway Consultants Co., Ltd., Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China 710075)
(3.Research and Development Center on Emergency Support Technologies for Transport Safety, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China 710075)

【Abstract】Two UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) were used to simultaneously shoot videos at a height of 200 m to study the discretionary lane changing behavior of small passenger cars on the freeway. Also, a high-resolution map was generated. The two videos were spliced and the accurate running states of vehicles at each frame were obtained, including eight key indicators, such as lane, speed, and ID of the vehicle. A total of 1 520 pieces of lane changing behavior were extracted and 942 discretionary lane changing behaviors were sorted out. The starting and ending points of lane changing behavior were determined based on whether the trajectory of the vehicle continued the offset. On this basis, sixteen characteristic parameters, such as the duration, distance, mutual state with surrounding vehicles, and safety of lane changing behavior, were analyzed. It is concluded that the average lane changing duration is 6.09 s and the average of lane changing distance is 148.08 m. A lognormal distribution provides the best fitting to the lane changing duration and distance. The average distance between the lane changing vehicle and the following vehicle in the target lane is found to be the shortest (34.29 m). The relative distance within 10 m accounts for 28.24%. Even though at a short relative distance between the lane changing vehicle and the following vehicle in the target lane, drivers make the lane changing decision for higher speed. The relative speed difference between the lane changing vehicle and the leading vehicle in the original lane is the greatest, with a mean of 10.2 km·h−1. Moreover, in 83% of cases, the lane changing vehicle is traveling faster than the leading vehicle in the original lane. It is fully explained that the discretionary lane change of vehicles is caused by the slow speed of the leading vehicles. TTC (time to collision) and MTC (margin to collision) are used to analyze the safety state at the beginning of lane change. The safety states can be classified into four types: severe–emergency, severe–non-emergency, non-severe–emergency, non-severe–non-emergency. Of them, severe–non-emergency and non-severe–non-emergency states account for the highest proportions. The results of this research can help understand the lane changing characteristics of drivers on freeway in China. The research results also have certain reference values for the establishment of a lane changing model suitable for the actual traffic environment in China.

【Keywords】 traffic engineering; lane changing characteristics; statistical analysis; lane changing behavior; UAV and high-resolution map; freeway;


【Funds】 National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC0803904, 2017YFC0803900)

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This Article


CN: 61-1313/U

Vol 33, No. 06, Pages 95-105

June 2020


Article Outline


  • 0 Introduction
  • 1 Data acquisition and processing
  • 2 Starting and ending points of lane change and characteristic parameters
  • 3 Analysis of lane changing characteristics
  • 4 Safety analysis of lane changing vehicles
  • 5 Conclusions
  • References