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.