Traffic Simulation in InfraWorks 360

Traffic Simulation in InfraWorks 360

In the latest version of InfraWorks 360 (“InfraWorks 360 2016 R1” or “The March 2015 Release of Autodesk InfraWorks 360” or whatever they decide to call it) you can now do some traffic simulation! Yes! It’s really cool! This was technology that was acquired not too long ago and was available on Autodesk Labs called “Project Commuter”. This technology is now available in InfraWorks 360 as a preview (which means it might change, might be a cloud credit service, might disappear all together).

In this post, I’ll go over what assets you need in your InfraWorks 360 in order to run a simulation, how to set up your model, how to run the simulation, how to edit the simulation parameters, and finally how to visualize the results.

Needed Assets

In order to run a traffic simulation, you’ll first need InfraWorks 360. The InfraWorks that ships with the design suites (such as the Infrastructure Design Suite Premium/Ultimate or the Building Design Suite Ultimate). Next, you’ll need the Autodesk Roads and Highways add on for InfraWorks 360. Since we’ll be doing roadway design things, you’ll need the roadway design tools. For more information on what’s in the different InfraWorks offerings, click HERE.

Comparison

Setup Your Model

Design Roads Only

Prior to running the simulation, you need to set your model up correctly. First of all, your roads need to be design roads and not the preliminary roads. If you’ve created your model from Model Builder, you have preliminary roads. You’ll need to convert those to design roads. Assuming you have the Autodesk Roads and Highways tools activated, you simply select the road, right click, and choose “Convert to Design Road”.

Convert to Design Road

Convert to Design Road

If you don’t see the convert option, make sure you have access to the tools and make sure you’re in Edit Mode (right click and choose Edit Mode).

Online Model

To run the simulation, your model must be upload to the InfraWorks 360 cloud service. If you haven’t done this yet (or haven’t done it since you added the roads), make sure to update your online model. If you aren’t familiar with how to do this, simply click the double arrow in a circle icon at the top left corner of your model.

Publish Model

Publish Model

Run The Simulation

The traffic simulation tool will be found in the Roads and Highways toolset in the analysis tools.

Start the Simulation

Start the Simulation

After clicking the button for the first time (assuming you haven’t run a simulation before in this model), InfraWorks will ask you to define an area. Basically what you want to do is cross your design roads at the location where you want a traffic load to be located. Your design roads will be highlighted in blue so you can easily see your options. As the area you draw crosses a design road, it creates a traffic load zone (where vehicles come from and where they go to).

Study Area

Study Area

After drawing the study area, InfraWorks will bring up two asset cards, one for the traffic study area and one for the resulting animation. On the Traffic Study Area asset card, click on Run Simulation. This requires the model already be uploaded to InfraWorks 360 and that you have an active internet connection.

Asset Cards

Asset Cards

Once the simulation has been run, your model will show you the results. The results are in the form of bars of different colors. The red bars indicate an excessive wait time or queue length and the blue bars indicate an acceptable wait and queue. If you mouse over one of the bars, it will show you the wait and queue.

Results

Results

Edit Simulation Parameters

Once you’ve run the simulation, you can edit the parameters. Simply choose the study area, right click, and choose  “Traffic Analyst Panel”. This will launch the Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Traffic Analyst. Hint: Once you open it, click the TOP button on the view cube to find your model.

Traffic Analyst

Traffic Analyst

A couple things you might want to do, check your traffic loading and check your intersections. To see the traffic demands, go to the Demand menu and choose “Demands”. In the Demand Editor, you can change the demand from one node to another.

Demands

Demands

Another thing is to check your intersection configuration. On the Control menu, choose Intersections. In the intersections dialog, choose the intersection you want to edit in the pull down and then choose the turning movement. When you select the turning movement, it will highlight in the main window. Currently, there are control options: stop sign, barred, give way, yield, and free flow. There doesn’t seem to be an option to put in a timed signal but remember, this is a technology preview so I would expect to see it eventually.

Intersections

Intersections

Once you’ve set your demands and your intersection controls, simply rerun the simulation and your model will update.

Visualize the Results

As mentioned above, you can see the blue and red bars and they will show you the results if they are acceptable or not but, wouldn’t it be nice to actually watch the traffic flow? All you have to do (provided you still have the traffic simulation open in InfraWorks and you’ve run the simulation) is to hit the play button. You can change the display of the results bar to display per lane, per approach, or turn them off.

If you watched the video, you can see it’s a bit dark. This is because currently, the only way to view the results is in the editing mode and everything is darkened while editing. There isn’t any way to show the simulation outside of the editing mode so you won’t be able to show the traffic in a storyboard (at least not yet).

So, did I miss something? Have you played around with it at all? What do you think it still needs? Leave a comment here, I would love to hear your thought!

InfraWorks 360 2015 R3 is Here!

Happy holidays to all!

All I want for Christmas is the next version of InfraWorks and guess what, I GOT IT!

InfraWorks 360 2015 R3 is now available for all to enjoy! Where do you get it? Well, if you have a prior version installed, just go check out the Autodesk Application Manager on your system and you can find it there. Don’t know where that is? Go to your Windows Start Menu and start typing “Autodesk Application Manager” and you’ll find it.

Autodesk Application Manager

Autodesk Application Manager

So, what are some of the new features?

Homepage

Well, there’s a new streamlined home page. It’s much cleaner and less cluttered then the older version. Plus, you don’t have to close your model to get back here! Want to go see something on the home screen? Just click the home icon and then click back on your model and you’re back!

New Home Page

New Home Page

Animations

Add animations to your model! Want to see that tower crane rotate? Want to see that wind turbine spinning? You can do that now! Personally, I haven’t had a chance to try this one yet but I’m definitely looking forward to getting into it!

Model Builder

Model Builder has graduated into a full fledged feature! It’s no longer in the preview state! What’s new? Well, you are no longer required to use a rectangular selection. What this means is, for example, if you have a corridor type project you are working on, you can select just the area along your corridor and not approach the data limit by selecting all that unwanted/unneeded area!

Model Builder Polygonal Selection

Model Builder Polygonal Selection

Mapped Network Drive Support

So, you want your model backed up on a network drive? Now you can do that! To keep things moving quickly when working in a shared location, InfraWorks creates a tile cache on your local drive (which you can specify the location for).

Set Local Cache for Network Models

Set Local Cache for Network Models

Drainage Design

If you haven’t taken a look at the drainage design features, they are pretty cool and getting better with each release. In this release, you’ll have more options on how to control the spacing of the structures, types of structures, and cover over your pipes when creating a drainage network for a design road.

Drainage Network Options

Drainage Network Options

Additionally, you’ll be able to create your own custom drainage content using the Autodesk Labs technology preview called Project Kameleon (yes, it’s spelled with a K). If you are interesting in trying out this new technology, click HERE for more details.

Project Kameleon

Project Kameleon

Enhanced Civil 3D Workflow

In my opinion, this is the big one for this release! You’ll be able to import a Civil 3D drawing directly into InfraWorks and you’ll be able to open an InfraWorks model in Civil 3D! For this to work, you must have the Civil 3D 2015 Service Pack 2 as well as the Productivity Pack 1 installed. Want to import that Civil 3D drawing? It shows up as a data connection. Made a change to the Civil 3D drawing and you want to see the new updates? Simply re-import the drawing and you’re done.

Want to start doing some detailed design in Civil 3D using the data from InfraWorks? Simply import the model into Civil 3D and away you go!

Open in Civil 3D and Configuration Settings

Open in Civil 3D and Configuration Settings

Oh, so you want to open your model in Civil 3D? Well, fear not for I’ve written a post on my other blog with the instructions on how to do that HERE.

And More!

I didn’t list all the new features, want to check it all out? Click HERE for the online help showing what’s new.

So, what are you most excited about? What did Autodesk do right? What did they do wrong? What’s still missing? Leave a comment for others to see!