2020 Volume 6 Issue 2 Pages A_244-A_253
Free speed (FS) is the speed that drivers would adopt if they were not influenced by the presence of other vehicles. This study hypothesises that the difference between the free speed distribution (FSD) and the actual speed distribution (ASD) is indicative of the quality of service (QOS) of traffic flow perceived by drivers. We use raw pulse detector data and the Modified Kaplan-Meier estimation method to derive FSD, which is then modelled based on cross-section geometry. The proposed model of FSD can be easily applied by practitioners without detailed speed and headway data. Additionally, ASD is investigated under various flow conditions, and a model is developed for its estimation based on geometric factors and traffic flow. We then define the Free Speed Index, FSI = AS/FS as an indicator of expressway QOS perception. FSI was found to decrease with an increase in traffic flow, and its potential applications are discussed.