Review: UK Aimsun Users’ Meeting 2016, London
We were delighted to welcome nearly 40 transport professionals to the first ever UK-specific Aimsun Users’ Meeting in London last month!
UK AUM 2016 Programme
Alex Gerodimos, Jordi Casas and Paolo Rinelli of TSS opened the meeting with company news and details of what to expect from the upcoming release of Aimsun 8.2.
TRL’s Chris Lodge talked about the TRL-led uTRAQ project, which uses an Aimsun Online model to predict air quality and proactively manage traffic to minimise the occurrence of air quality incidents. This project has now moved to an evaluation stage and we hope that TRL will return in 2017 to report on the trials.
The Local Authority panel session was an open discussion of the issues facing the authorities who commission and use traffic models. Ably chaired by Craig Drury from Highways England, the panel discussed access to data, and the effect of budget and resource constraints. A big focus was how to manage the digital asset that is a transport model: models must be shared across different uses and users, kept up-to-date, and be subject to careful revision management, which are common problems with a solution that combines software technology and management systems. In addition to Craig, we’d like to thank Colin Torode of Tees Valley Combined Authority, Fabio Galatioto of Transport Systems Catapult, Brent Collier at Sheffield City, Tony Dichev of Transport for London and David Chen at Medway Council.
After lunch, it was the consultants’ turn to take the floor. Andrew Bradshaw of Fore Consulting described the new multi-resolution Aimsun model of the Medway area in Kent while Anna Vickers from Arup talked about modelling bus priority schemes in the face of changing client requirements.
Two research projects were presented: Olivier Haas from Coventry University is looking at advanced motorway speed control while Xucheng Li from Atkins gave an update on the goals of the Flourish project, which will research how connected vehicle technology can improve the travel experience with particular reference to the needs of the elderly driver.
Alistair Kitson and Tessa Hayman from JMP-Systra talked about their experiences in moving to Aimsun from other software with a focus on one of our favourite themes here at TSS – the rise of the super-sized meso or hybrid model. Their last slide can only be described as awesome (see opposite).
To finish the day, Ken Fox demonstrated how he is moving closer to building a large Aimsun model from data sources and Python scripts alone. Most people don’t know that you can get elevation data from Google maps via a web data interface but Ken has a script to automatically include this in the model. The only problem is that you can only get 187,500 spot heights per day and it takes around 4 minutes to get them. Most attendees went away thinking that if that was a limitation, then they hadn’t hit it yet!
Following the meeting was a two-day course on Python scripting in Aimsun as a powerful means of modifying a model, importing or exporting data and calculating and displaying results. We are happy to report that it was sold out.
Chris Lodge of TRL discussing the uTRAQ Urban Traffic Management and Air Quality project
Craig Drury of Highways England chairs the expert panel and asks, “How will transport models adapt as society changes its expectations regarding mobility?”
UK transport professionals listen as Anna Vickers of Arup describes modelling bus priority schemes
Wow. JMP-Systra wins the best-closing-slide-ever competition with an Aimsun fist pump