USE OF MICROSIMULATION IN THE ADAPTATION TO PORTUGAL OF THE HCM 2000 METHODOLOGY FOR BASIC FREEWAY SEGMENTS
Portugal is one of the European countries with higher spatial and population freeway network coverage. The sharp growth of this network in the last years instigates the use of methods of analysis and the evaluation of their quality of service in terms of the traffic performance, typically performed through internationally accepted methodologies, namely that presented in the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM). Lately, the use of microscopic traffic simulation models has been increasingly widespread. These models simulate the individual movement of the vehicles, allowing to perform traffic analysis. The main target of this study was to verify the possibility of using microsimulation as an auxiliary tool in the adaptation of the methodology by HCM 2000 to Portugal. For this purpose, were used the microscopic simulators AIMSUN and VISSIM for the simulation of the traffic circulation in the A5 Portuguese freeway. The results allowed the analysis of the influence of the main geometric and traffic factors involved in the methodology by HCM 2000. In conclusion, the study presents the main advantages and limitations of the microsimulators AIMSUN and VISSIM in modelling the traffic circulation in Portuguese freeways. The main limitation is that these microsimulators are not able to simulate explicitly some of the factors considered in the HCM 2000 methodology, which invalidates their direct use as a tool in the quantification of those effects and, consequently, makes the direct adaptation of this methodology to Portugal impracticable.