Testing and Simulation Software

Within a traffic control system ecosystem, one best practice for most traffic engineers is to be able to configure a setup and then test it by simulation before deploying in the field.

This is the case for the SCATS Traffic Control System or Urban Traffic Control (UTC) system as well as the Traffic Signal Controllers such as the ATSC4.

ATC can offer a simulation environment for the SCATS system known as SCATSIM (or SCATS Simulator) with the express purpose of being interfaced to one of the industry traffic modelling packages such as Aimsun-Next. This allows for a copy of a SCATS Region to be loaded as configured in real life but run within a sandboxed environment to allow for testing What-If scenarios.

SCATSIM Interface to Aimsun Next Modelling Software

In addition, SCATSIM performs it simulation by being able to "run" or simulate traffic signal controllers configuration, commonly known in the SCATS world as a "personality". Each intersection has 1 personality that runs normally in an ATSC4 Controller or any SCATS Compliant controller, and within SCATSIM, up to 250 can be loaded if the WinTRAFF Multi-Site software is used so as to simulate a SCATS Coordinated Traffic Signals Corridor, this is commonly known as the "Green Wave" corridor. 

Each intersection then generates a series of vehicle detections to simulate the normally running traffic and then SCATS performs its Adaptive Traffic control algorithm to provide the optimum travel time along those corridors and then simulation software then performs inputs to test different traffic demand scenarios and observe how SCATS reacts to the change in traffic patterns. This allows the Traffic Engineer to model scenarios such as overflow, change of road topology, closing off one lane, adding one lane to an approach to an intersection.

Performing these simulations is faster than running in normal time so as to see the "effects" of the road topology changes or traffic demands (number of vehicles)  and determine if the changes need adjustments in SCATS or the personality to allow a particular use case to be implemented or refined.