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TRL and Savoy Computing Services combine on roundabout design software

The UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and Savoy Computing Services have joined forces to develop a new system for designing roundabouts. The system links TRL’s ARCADY and Savoy’s AutoTrack to reduce the time taken to design roundabouts.

ARCADY is a long established roundabout flow/capacity analysis system, which assesses roundabout performance, taking into account the geometry and placement of features such as pedestrian crossings. The system predicts, flow rates, queue times and various performance criteria. The recently released version 7 incorporates numerous improvements to the original user interface and has been tested on Windows 7.

AutoTrack Junctions is a new roundabout design program that allows engineers to design roundabout geometry interactively to selected UK or US standards. It allows users to model roundabouts with up to eight arms and caters for splitter islands, pedestrian crossings, rumble strips and traffic controls. Additional options let the user analyze driver and pedestrian sightlines, stopping distances and fastest line speed.

Where previously roundabout design has involved combining separate input from two disciplines - road geometry and vehicle flow/capacity analysis, the new system integrates them both. By linking ARCADY and AutoTrack and combining these two operations, the time taken to produce efficient, well balanced roundabout designs is significantly reduced. The link is initiated automatically from AutoTrack and thereafter the two programs talk to each other ensuring that, whichever program is in use, the data is synchronized with the other program. Values may be changed in either program and the data integrity will be preserved. The system runs in AutoCAD, MicroStation or standalone in Windows.

Savoy director, Simon Ayers, who is delighted with the result, says, “Roundabout design has historically been a highly iterative process. By linking these two programs we’ve been able to create a single interactive environment within which all the relevant design parameters are constantly updated, allowing the engineer to see immediately the effect of changes made to the geometry. In this way we have removed the iterative nature of the task and so reduced the design time, improved the design efficiency, and ultimately, reduced the cost. The result has exceeded even our expectations.” TRL’s program director for software, Gavin Jackman, says, “It has been a pleasure working with Savoy and the result is a product that takes BIM principles into the traffic engineer space and is set to revolutionize the way we work in the future.”

 

November 25, 2009

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