Simulation based dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) model is increasingly used for major traffic operational studies and also integrated into large scale regional travel demand models to better capture the temporal dynamics of traffic conditions. More importantly, DTA has been recognized as an essential tool for evaluating complex policy and investment decisions such as: emission, tolling, congestion pricing, en-route information, work zone, incident, active travel demand management, travel time reliability, connected cars, and many other modern traffic planning and operation strategies. The recent SHARP2 C10 deployment funding also required DTA to be integrated into advanced activity based models. Ultimately, DTA will replace static assignment models to become a standard method for trip assignments.
However, DTA models would generate large amount of data that are impossible to comprehend if without effective visualization tools. Traditional network visualization tools are usually designed for viewing static data which are limited for displaying time dependent data created from DTA models. An effective visualization tool must be able to extract and display useful information that is embedded in the vast amount of individual vehicle trajectories simulated by the DTA models efficiently. For planners, the tools must not only be able to display vehicle trajectory at microscopic resolution, more importantly, be able to extract and highlight traffic flow patterns at meso or macroscopic levels to show dynamical route choice behavior changes. Effective capturing and displaying those route choice dynamics will make DTA modeling much easier for analyzing critical traffic diversions, bottlenecks, queuing, peak spreading effects which are critical elements for any traffic studies.
The main intention for this presentation is to share some useful visualization methods and tools that were used in a number of large scale DTA studies sponsored by FHWA. Those DTA models were all developed based on DynusT/DynuStudio platform including C10 AB model integration, L35A travel time reliability study, and VASTO agent-based multi-day vehicle simulation. In addition, the visualization tools developed for showing online real time traffic information and travel time prediction under SYNERGY project at Metropia will also be introduced.