Quadstone Paramics v6.9 includes 434 bugs and minor enhancments, 22 users defined FR's voted on by our use rbase and 11 major new feature groups including:
We are pleased to release the fist stage of our GIS integration module which includes network geo registration, direct import of GIS data for model building and export of analytics to a range of GIS and consumer mapping formats inc. MapInfo, ESRI, Goolge Earth and Bing.
Bing Maps are now seamlessly integrated into Modeller, no more tiling overlays to create a working backdrop or manually scaling raster images, just press the Bing button and all the preparation work for a new network build is done for you. Bing can also be used in existing networks and has the added benefit of geo registering them automatically.
We continue to improve the user experience with a much improved Editor including right mouse menus for quick editing, fully configurable key combinations, an improved and more responsive Editor Palette and easy switching of edit/selection modes
We continue to lead the industry in ped/vehicle interactions and 6.9 includes new features and functionality based on field observations that dramatically improve the quality and flexibility if these interactions for urban street space and "shared spaces".
The simulation engine has received many enhancements and improvements including improved lane choice, lane based headway and reaction factors, signpost propagation, ramp aware distances, improved freeway behavior, improved junction modeling, and new "shared spaces" intersection behavior.
A wide range of new analysis, debugging and calibration tools are now available in 6.9, these include Gap Acceptance viewer tool, Historic Route Viewer tool, Estimator Visual Relationships, Estimation Vehicle Dynamics.
Quadstone Paramics v6.8 is the latest release of our award winning microsimulation software. This update includes many new features requested by users and some major additions in functionality including:
We are pleased to release the first phase of the new ASC interface. Phase 1 lets you exactly mimic the operation of Dual Ring signal controller logic like NEMA and 170/2070. Backed by an easy to use UI, some great graphics displays and some smart ‘shortcuts’ to help you save time during model development we know you’re going to love this new feature. During the webinar we will go through the new ASC interfaces and create a new ASC signal controlled intersection.
In V6.8 you get a brand new Gap Acceptance (GA) model that’s smarter, more accurate and effortlessly deals with any kind of complex geometry or closely spaced intersections; you will never care about short links in your model again!
To give you full control over the new GA model were also providing a new network object “Gap Acceptance Rules” which let you override the default GA calculations without limitations of network connectivity and link length. Finally we’ll introduce the new GA Viewer analytics tool which you can use to inspect the gaps vehicles are taking in your model giving you informed feedback on where you may want to apply your new GA Rules.
Spatial Tests allow you to define polygonal test areas inside which vehicles will check for conflicts. No reference to network connectivity or structure is used; this make’s Spatial Tests ideal for very tight geometry’s i.e. mini roundabouts. In addition Spatial Tests can be used to control vehicle progress mid-block on links or as they move through nodes for example do not allow a vehicle to move forward into a test area if they cannot fully exit that test area (don’t block yellow box) or if any other vehicle is present within the test area (2 way suicide lane).
Great new updates to the Pedestrian components of the range include the ability to specify parent and child style agent groups i.e. people walking side by side, following a tour guide or family units moving through a transport terminal in unison. In addition there are some enhancements to agent release blocking and agent compliance to crossing against the walk signal as gaps in traffic permit.
A major upgrade of Paramics' reporting abilities includes:
The core simulation model has been improved in many areas including an HGV following factor; in the real world drivers in smaller cars will tend to keep a larger minimum gap behind HGV's, while for normal cars they will be happy to follow much closer. This gap can now be set for each vehicle type.
To aid calibration factors for mean driver reaction time and mean target headways have been added to the advanced vehicle type's kinematics tab.
The user can now specify the stimulus and transition times per link: stimulus time is the time that a vehicle must receive continuous positive stimuli before it can initiate a lane change, transition time is the time that a vehicle takes to complete the a lane change manoeuvre. This is especially useful to correctly model complex freeway weaving sections.
Highway lane usage/lane selection has been improved in a number of areas providing better performance at slips, ramps, lane gains, lane drops and weaving areas.
Lane choices have been extended in 6.7 and now the user can specify up to five downstream links and choices can be placed on any link; prior to 6.7 the link had to have a hazard. In addition, the lane choice is no longer tied to the signposting, instead an activation area can be defined by the user anywhere on the link and this will trigger the lane selection of vehicles affected by the lane choice rules. Finally, the split mechanism of the rule can be defined as percentage splits per lane using the existing probability of lane x in the approach or the very literal n% use lane x approach.
This major feature provides a mechanism whereby the user can dictate the strategic route choice through one or more regions in the Paramics model. Strategic route choice is assumed to be the higher level "plan" of the preferred route a driver will take from origin to destination without considering the micro level details of every turn they will make en route. The user creates a series of one or more “waypoint” zones. These can then be referenced by waypoint rules which are applied at simulation time. When a vehicle is then released the waypoints are visited in order and the vehicle's original destination is used once all waypoints have been visited.
Prior to 6.7 more aggressive vehicles will tend to move to higher lane indices where more than one next lane is available. In 6.7, under the junctions/movements tab, the user can now provide percentage splits for next lanes. If no split values are provided or they don't total to 100% then Modeller will use the old behaviour. Note that the nextlane graphics have also been updated to show the percentage split values.
With the new vehicle trajectory functionality in 6.7 users can now export vehicle movement information through the GUI and filter by link, vehicle type, zone, sample size or vehicle id. Supported export formats are comma separated values (CSV) and SSAM trajectory (TRJ), and SIM
The new vehicle trajectory reporting tool can be used to export in a new file format (SIM) supported by 3AM Solutions Dynamite SIM products and Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011. This gives engineers push button access to the industry leading visualisation tools integrated with their CAD and Civil Design workflows.
The route viewer has been extended to now show the historical route a vehicle has taken as well as its intended route to get to a destination. In addition more information about the cost components (factors GCE, turn penalties etc.) that effect a vehicles route choice are provided.
Route viewer / demands editor synchronization: in the route viewer / options tab, the user can check the “synchronise with demands editor” to allow routes to be automatically viewed when cells are selected in Modeller's demands editor and Estimator's pattern and demands matrix tables.
The distance bands editor (in the Options and Preferences Report section) has been modified; a colour column has been added and the buttons have been modernised. Colours are edited by double clicking the item. In Modeller, the observed count data viewer (OCDV) uses the band colours for user defined GEH colour shading. Previously the colouring was automatic.
Pattern editor selection: when selecting cells in the pattern editor, the appropriate OD pair in the network graphics and active/best/next tables is also selected.
Track unchanged trips: a checkbox has been added to confidence weights which lets the user track trips that are unchanged over n iterations. If enabled then affected cells are marked with a warning icon in the demands tab (active table only) and the VIC palette.
The Converter application has received a major facelift for 6.7. The underlying conversion engine is faster and more robust while the UI and graphics have been upgraded to use the same easy to use tools approach as Modeller, Analyser, Estimator etc.
The UAF application and pedestrian simulation tools have been improved significantly in areas such as:
User support for the online FR system continues to be fantastic, many thanks for all your great suggestions and feedback; we have implemented many user requests and fixed more than 300 bugs across the full product range.
The public transport model in 6.6 has received some significant enhancements. A range of new behavioural rules are now available allowing the user to fine tune PT vehicle operation in the simulation model; for example requiring normal traffic to give way to PT vehicles (Buses, Trams, Light Rail) as they pull out from a PT stop. In addition new reporting and alighting rate options are now available.
Most importantly 6.6 now offers a PT Schedule and “Layovers” facility. Users can code a fixed schedule for PT vehicles detailing the time at which each vehicle should arrive at associated PT stops throughout the model. In addition users can designate PT stops as layover points where PT vehicles ahead of schedule will wait to maintain headways of service intervals.
6.6 provides the facility to code periodic fixed turning penalties for familiar and unfamiliar drivers. The turning penalties can be used in addition to all assignment types to better represent driver behaviour, for example as a negative factor encouraging drivers to avoid a difficult or congested turning movement.
High Occupancy Tolling (HOT) lanes are now available in 6.6 in a new network editor model called Dynamic Rules. HOT allows the user to define a scheduled or fully dynamic set of tolling criteria which can be used to model real world scenarios. When a driver encounters a VMS associated with an HOT facility, the driver will choose whether to take the Standard route or the HOT route. This decision is based upon whether taking the tolled route will save time and whether a monetary saving will be made; both the time saving and the toll cost are displayed in the VMS.
A new dynamic rule for Variable Speed Limits (VSL) has been added in 6.6. VSL rules let users define sections of roadway where gantry or road side signs are used to enforce Variable Speed Limits by adjusting allowable link speeds based on a range of trigger criteria such as speed, flow and detector occupancy. VSL rules can be time dependent and allow the user to define a set of hierarchical trigger criteria that can be used to dynamically vary link speeds using different trigger criteria in different scenarios.
Paramics Designer now supports Google SketchUp as a source data type. You can download your SketchUp models from Goggle's 3D online warehouse or just create your 3D models in SketchUp directly. This new functionality makes it much easier for users to produce life like visuals in their models adding to the already powerful high resolution graphics engine provided in the core Paramics tools.
In an effort to improve linkage with CAD tools and to streamline users' work processes 6.6 allows you to export node positions to common CAD tools and adjust their heights by mapping to a surface model. The newly adjusted node positions can then be imported back into Modeller giving accurate node heights and link gradients.
In addition Overlay mesh points can be exported and mapped to CAD surface models making it easy to build Overlay terrain models that accurately match the real world.
In addition to core functionality the first batch of user supplied Feature Requests from our online FR system have been implemented. User support for the online FR system has been fantastic, many thanks for all your great suggestions and feedback.
A new Route Control option has been added to the network editor in 6.5 allowing the user to specifically define the routes that vehicles will use to traverse the network overriding any default routing information determined by the underlying traffic assignment processes. Users can define a series of links as a route and save this information in the Project Library for easy access. Advanced configuration options such as the proportion of vehicles, time period, vehicle type and origin / destination zones (which the route rule will affect) may also be defined.
Point to Point journey times can now be collected from Analyser using Project Library routes items. Routes items can be pre-defined or created at run time allowing you to define and refine your data collection requirements without the need to re-run simulation. A range of powerful new reporting options are available for Point to Point journey times in Analyser 6.5.
6.5 now provides all the powerful analytics, reporting and graphics features you're used to seeing in Analyser for detailed lane by lane loop data.
In addition turning delay and link travel time information have also been added to Analyser and the display control UI has been re-worked to make it even easier to use.
Quadstone Paramics provides a realistic representation of the 'friction' to traffic flow caused by pedestrians. Our simple to use pedestrian modelling system allows users to obtain meaningful results quickly, ensuring a realistic model is developed within the minimum amount of time and resource. In Quadstone Paramics, our pedestrians are free space agents; simulated people who can move freely within the study area defined by the user. The PPM is available from 6.5 onwards as a new paid for option.
A new core tool has been introduced which identifies blockages and artificial congestion in the network caused by coding errors or poor simulation operation. This new diagnostics tool allows the user to configure a number of rules which identify and remove stuck vehicles. The user has complete control over the identification and removal criteria allowing the tool to be applied with accuracy. Results are presented in the Information Browser and reported to the new "Tool Logs" data store. In addition graphical markers are used to indicate the location and magnitude of the blockages while the "ghosts" of the removed vehicles are shown to aid understanding.
6.4 includes extensions to marking rules that allow run time select link information to be gathered i.e. O, D, count, max/min/ave. journey time. This allows users to collect more detailed journey time and OD volume information from the model using all the selection and filtering options available in marking rules. Results are presented in the Information Browser and reported to the new "Tool Logs" data store. In addition, marking rules with more than one link can be triggered by all or any links defined. This allow the collection of data under more specific conditions i.e. information by turning movement, or by vehicles that follow a specific path through the network.
Hotspots have received a significant overhaul in 6.4 to include information about average and maximum queuing conditions in the network. User can configure the hotspots tool to collect average queue statistics and queuing persistence for a specified interval period in addition to the run time or second by second queuing information supplied in earlier version of this tool. In addition the maximum queue observed during any interval period can be recorded. Results are presented in the Information Browser and reported to the new "Tool Logs" data store.
A new Tool Logs data store is now created per network. This data store complements the existing Logs directory and is used to collect information and data analysis from the simulation generated at run time. Tools that generate data to this location include Blockage Removal, Marking Rules, Hotspots, and Vehicle Tracer.
Network editing routines have been improved in a number of way for 6.4. Firstly a file header is now created in every network files when it is saved following user edits. This header records information such as who created the network file and when it was last edited and who by. Functional changes to the Editor Palette include a new ways to add links between a selected A and B node and new shortcut keys for clearing current selections (Esc and F11) to suit both left and right handed users.