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Open AccessArticle

Mesoscopic Urban-Traffic Simulation Based on Mobility Behavior to Calculate NOx Emissions Caused by Private Motorized Transport

1
Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
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Information Technologies & Business Informatics, CAMPUS 02 University of Applied Sciences, 8010 Graz, Austria
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(6), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10060293
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 28 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traffic-Related Emissions)
Motorized transport is one of the main contributors to anthropogenic CO 2 emissions, which cause global warming. Other emissions, like nitrogen oxides or carbon monoxide, are detrimental to human health. A prominent way to understand and thus be able to minimize emissions is by using traffic simulations to evaluate different scenarios. In that way, one can find out which policies, technical innovations, or behavioral changes can lead to a decrease in emissions. Since the effect of CO 2 is on a global scale, a macroscopic model is often enough to find reasonable results. However, NO x emissions can also have a direct, local effect. Therefore, it is interesting to investigate these emissions on a mesoscopic scale, to gain insight into the local distribution of this pollutant. In this study, we used a traffic model that, contrary to most other state-of-the-art traffic simulations, does not require an origin–destination matrix as an input, but calculates it from mobility behavior extracted from a survey. We then generated agents with realistic mobility behavior that perform their daily trips and calculate key features like congestion and emissions for every edge of the road network. Our approach has the additional advantage of allowing to investigate technical, juridical, as well as behavioral changes, all within the same framework. It is then possible to identify strategies that minimize NO x emissions caused by private motorized transport. Evaluation showed good agreement with reality in terms of local and temporal resolution. Especially when looking at the sum of emissions, the main feature for evaluating policies, and deviations between our simulation and available statistics were negligible. We found that, from all scenarios we investigated, the ban of old diesel cars is the most promising policy: By replacing all diesel cars built in 2005 or earlier with petrol cars of the same age, NO x emissions could drop by roughly a third. View Full-Text
Keywords: traffic simulation; agent-based model; spatial networks; congestion; emissions; nitrogen oxides; incomplete combustion traffic simulation; agent-based model; spatial networks; congestion; emissions; nitrogen oxides; incomplete combustion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Plakolb, S.; Jäger, G.; Hofer, C.; Füllsack, M. Mesoscopic Urban-Traffic Simulation Based on Mobility Behavior to Calculate NOx Emissions Caused by Private Motorized Transport. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 293.

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