The acts of directing people through a museum, expediting fans’ exit from a football stadium, and simulating the evacuation of entire cities for natural disasters all share one common thread: they benefit from SimTread pedestrian simulation software. Developed by the Japanese Vectorworks distributor A&A Co., Ltd in partnership with Waseda University and Takenaka Corporation, this Vectorworks software plug-in tackles an array of crowd control needs such as analyzing pedestrian traffic flow, evaluating evacuation times, and verifying a design’s circulation patterns. With version 2.4 released today, anyone responsible for disaster preparedness, public safety, facilities management, or event, municipal, or campus planning will be better poised to handle circulation studies and flow analysis.
"There is great power in SimTread's capabilities, as it can save lives, so it’s of the utmost importance that the program continues to be improved," said Dr. Takeshi Kimura, manager of research and development at A&A. "The latest version keeps with this mentality and includes several beneficial visualization features that can help those responsible for disaster preparedness, public safety, facilities management, and event planning, all with the point of safety at the forefront."
Three key enhancements made in the latest SimTread release are:
- The "Create Measurement Result" command offers a new way to display reports to clients using a color-coded map on top of a floor plan, which helps to identify potential egress bottlenecks. Specifically, it displays occupant density within a specified measurement area of a Vectorworks document. Previously, SimTread only offered a movie file as the visual representation of the simulation result, and, although it intuitively showed the nature of the crowd, this new command provides a more qualitative, visual report.
- The visual reporting feature, "Plot Travel Time" command, will plot the time it will take for each individual occupant to evacuate from a building model within a Vectorworks document. After the simulation, SimTread displays a circle over each occupant’s starting position, color-coded to indicate how long it took each individual to evacuate. The demand for such reports arose from the need to plan for city-wide evacuations.
- Vectorworks objects that appear as holes in plan view, such as columns, will be recognized in the updated simulation software.
"Among SimTread 2.4's many updates, the improved graphical presentation of the program’s results will help articulate the benefits of large-scale evacuation planning," said Jeremy Powell, product marketing director at Vectorworks. "These new visualizations came from our research and consultancy work, so we hope it will benefit other users, as well."