Unprotected Left-Turn Behavior Model Capturing Path Variations at Intersections

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Path dispersion (the spatial distribution of vehicular paths) is an important feature of traffic flow inside intersections and differs from traffic flow running along traffic lanes at road segment, especially under conflicting movements. The path dispersion reflects the operational features of traffic flow and is related to driving behaviour, arrival flow patterns, layout design, and the traffic control and management scheme. This study aims to improve the understanding of the overall path dispersion of unprotected left-turns and the opposing through movement. A behavioural simulation model was established to represent the overall path dispersion. Human behaviours regarding vehicle trajectory planning with and without conflicting vehicles were modelled based on optimal control and integrated into the proposed discrete event simulation framework. The descriptive power and accuracy of the proposed simulation model were validated using empirical data. The effects of the spatial size of the intersection, crossing angle, and traffic volume on the path dispersion of the left-turn and through movement were explored based on numerical experiments. The results show that the proposed simulation model can represent the path dispersion of left-turn and opposing through movement well for both the calibrated intersections and newly added intersections without model parameter recalibration with an average error of 8.92%.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9016-9030
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023



  • conflicting movements, driving behaviors, intersections, Path dispersion