Project: Synthetic Environments in Managed Motorways

Reference: SRT 8/6/13

Last update: 26/11/2013 11:30:50

Objectives

The strategic aim of the proposed project is to provide a tangible example of how Synthetic Environment (SE)technologies can be adapted for a transport application, in
particular to:
- learn any generic lessons from developing
such an application, especially compatibility
with existing systems;
- establish feasibility of short
time-to-implementation; and
- develop applications around existing
cross-Government Enterprise Architectures,
particularly open source and scalable.

The applied objectives focus on assessing the
feasibility of SE technology for solving operational challenges in the HA, in particular to:
- capture the knowledge and data needed for modelling each operator's decision-making strategy for opening and closing the hard shoulder on the M42;
- understand and model operators' strategies for opening and closing the hard shoulder on the M42;
- use the scenario planning capability of the SE system to identify best practice by measuring the long term performance of each alternative existing decision strategy based on a simulation evaluation;
- use the scenario planning capability of the SE system to refine existing best practice by combining and testing strategies used by different operators; and
- use the SE system and the best practice
recommendations as a knowledge management tool for training new operators and for informing the design of new procedures (for example procedures for the ATM and for the managed motorways programme).

Description

DfT and HA are running a project to explore the use of synthetic environments applied to transport, in this case, modelling and managing complex traffic situations on motorways. Elements of such an approach can already be seen in the tools developed and exploited by the computer games industry as well as the synthetic environment techniques currently used in the defence arena. These tools model the physical environment and introduce a human element that adds a new dimension, bringing the model to life as a virtual environment for interactivity. Such a tool has the potential to provide an important asset to aid decision-making and help deliver best practice for a range of transport challenges

Contractor(s)

XPI limited
Unit E, Argent Court, Hook Rise South, Surrey, KT6 7NL

Risk Solutions
19, Upper King Street, Leicester, LE1 6XF

Ambient Performance Ltd
Serious Games Institute, Coventry Innovation Institute, Coventry, CV1 2TL

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £300,000.00

Actual start date: 16 November 2009

Actual completion date: 17 September 2010

Summary of results

  1. The strategic aim and applied objectives of the project were met.
    The projects were able to demonstrate the potential for SE technologies to be adapted for further transport applications.
    For the particular task they were applied to, in this case, the feasibility of of SE technology to address operational challenges in the HA (in particular, the M42). the projects were also able to show that the SE technology:
    (i) could be used as a management tool for training new operators; (ii) was capable of use as a scenario planning tool for testing strategies used by different operators (iii) could be used to identify best practice; and (iv) was capable of understanding and modelling each operator's decision-making strategy for opening and closing the hard shoulder on the M42.

    As co-sponsors of the project, the TSB prepared an information sheet/flyer on the outcome of the project.