Two-dimensional LWR model for lane-free traffic

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



While macroscopic models for single or multi-lane traffic flow are well established, these models are not applicable to the dynamics and characteristics of disordered traffic which is characterized by widely different types of vehicles and no lane discipline. We propose a first-order two-dimensional Lighthill–Whitham–Richards (LWR) model for the continuous macroscopic longitudinal and lateral dynamics of this type of traffic flow. The continuity equation is extended into two dimensions and the equation is closed by assuming a longitudinal flow-density relationship as in traditional one-dimensional models while the lateral dynamics is based on boundary repulsion and a desire of a majority of the drivers to go to less dense regions. This is equivalent to Fick's law giving rise to a lateral diffusion term. Using the proposed model, several numerical tests were conducted under different traffic scenarios representing a wide range of traffic conditions. Even for extreme initial conditions, the model's outcome turned out to be plausible and consistent with observed traffic flow dynamics. Moreover, the numerical convergence test is performed using an analytical solution for lateral steady-state conditions. The model was applied for bicycle simulation and reproduced the evolution of lateral density profile with asymmetric behavior.


Original languageEnglish
Article number128990
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-1730-0750/work/145696433



  • Disordered traffic, Lateral dynamics, Rarefaction waves, Shock waves, Two-dimensional LWR model