I finished the intersection in Aimsun Next. I used the data I collected mostly, but I also used Google Maps for a reference of the intersection, and the data collected by the city to check that my data wasn’t too skewed, as well as adding speed data. Aimsun is a software that is used in the industry and I was able to get a free version for educational purposes. This software was comfortable to use and had almost all the features I needed for a completely realistic intersection. The only thing that it didn’t have was control to change the length of the yellow lights for each traffic light. I had to use a fixed length for the whole intersection. I also wasn’t able to add pedestrian crossings to this model. That feature is only made available for the full version of the software. Even with these minor setbacks, the intersection is a good representation of the real intersection and was easy software to use. Below is an image of the intersection during the simulation with, and without, the Google Maps reference image.

Overall, I learned so much from this project, like how hard it is to collect data on cars by hand, that traffic systems are much more complex than I first realized, and that it is sometimes necessary to change plans if needed — the whole purpose of the project was to the learn about something that is not my major but still interested me.

The experience also reminded me of my internship with the city of Dublin Engineering Department during my senior year of High School. There I got to work on GIS road creation, data entry, and even got to talk with the man that created all the code that controls all the traffic lights within the city of Dublin.

Update 2

Update 2:

I collected all the data today from the intersection in downtown Dublin. I took measurements on the amount of cars during five cycles of the traffic lights and also took some times of the traffic light cycles.  Now I need to put this data in a spreadsheet, then use my data and the data collected by the city of Dublin on car frequently and speed, in the software modeling software to create a visual representation of the intersection. That will complete the active part of my project, and then all I will need to do is complete the capstone paper.

I still am researching which traffic modeling software will work the best f0r my purposes. However I have looked at a few options and the best candidates currently are SUMO, MATSim, and TRANSIMS. These are all opensource options that I believe have the features I am looking for I will download these options and see if they work for a complex single intersection, and if none of them do I will look for further options.

I am planning to have the conclusion blog post uploaded on Saturday night or Sunday morning. This means I need the intersection done by that time as well. After that I will write up my paper, and work on a poster design.

Update 1

Update 1:

This update is a bit late because creating the code for this project is much greater difficulty then expected. I knew that it would be hard to create but my knowledge in this field of time based motion is so limited. I still want to finish this project, and am starting my capstone paper today, but how i get to my end project will most likely be changed from my original plan to code it all from scratch in Java. I am giving myself a little bit more time to try and create the model from scratch but if that fails, and it is likely given that a I have had to relearn some now that it is summer and that learning a new topic through emails and online methods is very hard.

Therefore if I am unable to create the model from scratch I will be using software / simulation packages already online. I believe that this will be the best way to complete the project as I will still be analyzing local data collected by the city, and with this extra time I can go out and collect data as well. I have already learned alot about how this software would be made but the fact is that creating traffic models from scratch with little knowledge is a very hard thing to complete in only a year.

In my next update I hope to have collected my data, and have a way to use that data in a model whether that is from my own software or from someone else’s. Tomorrow is when I am collecting the data on the intersection of Downtown Dublin. I choose this intersection because it is very busy, is a four way stop light intersection, and has multiple lanes in some directions. Below is a picture of this intersection in question.

Planning / Methodology

For my capstone project, I am going to be making a model of a Dublin, Ohio intersection. This project is due in two weeks and there is much to complete still. I have found all the resources for my project. This includes examples of traffic simulations to use as a starting point of my code, and text of traffic flow modeling.

To insure that I will finish this project I am splitting my work into two phases. this week will be blog posts and the writing of the actual code. next week will be writing the paper and adding finishing touches to anything left to do.

Therefore, the basic method for this project is looking at examples of traffic simulations and taking features from many and combine them in an original way. I will also be using local data to help guide the movement of the cars. These addition features that I haven’t seen in traffic simulations much will add human error and hopeful a more realistic end project. I will then report my experience in the capstone paper.

In my next update I will have a basic draft of the code, and a finished list of all features. This update will be done uploaded by Wednesday. I understand that this is a very quick timeline now, but with the amount of research and resources I have from the past months, I know that this project has and will teach me a lot about a topic I didn’t know anything about.