Styria Innovation Award

Symul8 – A Simulation Platform for the Analysis of Future Traffic Rules for Automated Driving

The integration of automated driving into the existing traffic presents a particular challenge. It is important that traffic planners together with stakeholders from the road and infrastructure sectors, analyze future traffic impacts holistically in order to implement the appropriate infrastructure measures at an early stage.

The Symul8 simulation platform was developed with the aim of creating a tool for adapting traffic regulations for automated driving that considers the different levels of automated and non-automated vehicles in mixed traffic.
The platform is based on the two already established simulation software products PTV VISSIM and SUMO. After a comprehensive needs analysis, a user-friendly environment was defined, including the following parameter settings (see Fig. 2): Proportion of conventional and automated vehicles, infrastructure segments of the high-level road network, environmental and weather influences, and traffic composition (heavy traffic share and traffic volumes).

Fig.1 shows a time-distance-velocity diagram

Symul8 allows users to perform simulation-based analyses without a broad range of knowledge in traffic simulation, making this topic accessible to a much wider range of experts. Traffic planners can study the impact of infrastructural traffic management measures, based on simulated cross-sectional and segmental single-vehicle data in combination with different levels of automation.
Individual components can be further developed and new functions easily integrated.

Fig.2 shows the graphical user interface for scenario configuration with the various setting options.

The implementation of automated vehicles on public roads is currently one of the major challenges for the transport system. The simulation platform provides decision-making aids based on traffic simulations for the first time for the adaptation of existing legal regulations (e.g. Road Traffic Act, Motor Vehicle Act, Automated Driving Ordinance, etc.) and the creation of new legal framework conditions for individual traffic.


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Picture: DI Marlies Mischinger-Rodziewicz (Senior Research Control Systems, VIRTUAL VEHICLE), Prof. Martin Fellendorf (Institute of Highway Engineering and Transport Planning, TU Graz), Dr. Jost Bernasch (Managing Director VIRTUAL VEHICLE), Styrian Minister Barbara Eibinger-Miedl and SFG -Managin Director Christoph Ludwig. Source: VIRTUAL VEHICLE

Austria-Germany-Switzerland consortium:

The research project was coordinated by the Institute of Highway Engineering and Transport Planning at Graz University of Technology, and involved not only VIRTUAL VEHICLE but also the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the Chair of Transportation Engineering at Ruhr University Bochum, and the Swiss company Rapp Trans AG; the clients were the highway operators ASFINAG (Austria) and ASTRA (Switzerland) and the German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt).