Action-points in human driving and in SUMO




Car-following, Action-points, Driver modelling


When following a vehicle, drivers change their acceleration at so called action-points (AP), and keep it constant in between them. By investigating a large data-set of car-following data, the state- and time-distributions of the APs is analyzed. In the state-space spanned by speed-difference and distance to the lead vehicle, this distribution of APs is mostly proportional to the distribution of all data-points, with small deviations from this. Therefore, the APs are not concentrated around certain thresholds as is claimed by psycho-physical car-following models.Instead, small distances indicate a slightly higher probability of finding an AP than is the case for large distances. A SUMO simulation with SUMO's implementation of the Wiedemann model confirms this view: the AP's of the Wiedemann model follow a completely different distribution than the empirical ones.


A. Reuschel, “Fahrzeugbewegung in der Kolonne bei gleichförmig beschleunigtem oder verzögertem Leitfahrzeug,” Zeitschrift des osterreichischen Ingenieur und Architektenvereins, p. 95, Jul. 1950, In German.

R. Herman, E. Montroll, R. Potts, and R. Rothery, “Traffic dynamics: Analysis of stability in car following,” Operations Research, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 86–106, 1959. DOI: 10.1287/opre.7.1.86. eprint: [Online]. Available:

D. C. Gazis, R. Herman, and R. W. Rothery, “Nonlinear follow-the-leader models of traffic flow,” Operations Research, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 545–567, 1961. DOI: 10.1287/opre.9.4.545. eprint: [Online]. Available:

E. P. Todosiev and L. C. Barbosa, “A proposed model for the driver-vehicle-system,” Traffic Engineering, vol. 34, pp. 17–20, 1963/64.

E. P. Todosiev, “The actionpoint model of driver vehicle system,” Ph.D. dissertation, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA, 1963.

R. Wiedemann, “Simulation des Straßenverkehrsflußes,” Institut fur Verkehrswesen, Universität Karlsruhe, Tech. Rep., 1974, Heft 8 der Schriftenreihe des IfV, in German.

H.-T. Fritzsche, “A model for traffic simulation,” Transportation Engineering And Control, no. 5, pp. 317–321, 1994.

P. Fancher, R. Ervin, J. Sayer, et al., Intelligent cruise control field operational test, HS 808 849, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, U.S. DOT, 1998.

FHWA, Next Generation Simulation Program,, accessed Sept. 2006, 2006.

Safe and intelligent mobility – test field germany, URL:, last access 7.7.2015, 2012. [Online]. Available:

SHRP2 naturalistic driving study, URL:, last access 31.7.2019, 2019. [Online]. Available:

EuroFOT, URL:, last access 31.7.2019, 2012. [Online]. Available:

R. Krajewski, J. Bock, L. Kloeker, and L. Eckstein, “The highd dataset: A drone dataset of naturalistic vehicle trajectories on german highways for validation of highly automated driving systems,” in 2018 IEEE 21st International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC), 2018.

V. L. Knoop and S. P. Hoogendoorn, “Relation between longitudinal and lateral action points,” in Traffic and Granular Flow ’13, M. Chraibi, M. Boltes, A. Schadschneider, and A. Seyfried, Eds., Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2015, pp. 571–576, ISBN: 978-3-319-10629-8.

S. Hoogendoorn, R. G. Hoogendoorn, and W. Daamen, “Wiedemann revisited: New trajectory filtering technique and its implications for car-following modeling,” Transportation Research Record, vol. 2260, no. 1, pp. 152–162, 2011. DOI: 10.3141/2260-17. eprint: [Online]. Available:

U. Ramer, “An iterative procedure for the polygonal approximation of plane curves,” Computer Graphics and Image Processing, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 244–256, 1972. DOI: 10.1016/S0146-664X(72)80017-0.

D. Douglas and T. Peucker, “Algorithms for the reduction of the number of points required to represent a digitized line or its caricature,” The Canadian Cartographer, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 112–122, 1973. DOI: 10.3138/FM57-6770-U75U-7727.

M. Visvalingam and J. D. Whyatt, “Line generalisation by repeated elimination of the smallest area,” CISRG discussion paper ; 10, Cartographic Information Systems Research Group, University of Hull, Tech. Rep., 1992. [Online]. Available: (visited on 07/31/2018).

S. Hugel, "simplification: Fast linestring simplification using RDP or visvalingam-whyatt and a Rust binary", [Online; accessed 31 Aug 2018], 2016. [Online]. Available:

R Core Team, R: A language and environment for statistical computing, R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria, 2018. [Online]. Available:

RStudio Team, Rstudio: Integrated development environment for r, RStudio, Inc., Boston, MA, 2015. [Online]. Available:

P. A. Lopez, M. Behrisch, L. Bieker-Walz, et al., “Microscopic traffic simulation using SUMO,” in The 21st IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE, 2018. [Online]. Available:

P. Wagner, “Empirical description of car-following,” in Traffic and Granular Flow ’03, S. P. Hoogendoorn, S. Luding, and P. H. L. Bovy, Eds., Springer, 2005, pp. 15–28.

R. G. Hoogendoorn, S. P. Hoogendoorn, K. A. Brookhuis, and W. Daamen, “Longitudinal driving behavior under adverse conditions: A close look at psycho-spacing models,” Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 20, pp. 536–546, 2011, The State of the Art in the European Quantitative Oriented Transportation and Logistics Research – 14th Euro Working Group on Transportation & 26th Mini Euro Conference & 1st European Scientific Conference on Air Transport, ISSN: 1877-0428. DOI: [Online]. Available:

R. Wiedemann and U. Reiter, “Microscopic traffic simulation: The simulation system mission, background and actual state,” Project ICARUS (V1052) Final Report. Brussels, CEC, 2., Tech. Rep., 1992.




How to Cite

Wagner, P., Erdmann, J., & Nippold, R. (2022). Action-points in human driving and in SUMO. SUMO Conference Proceedings, 1, 113–122.



Conference papers