Traffic Simulation Comes to Autodesk InfraWorks 360

by: Mark Burgess | 08/28/2015
Estimated Reading time: 6 - 10 minutes

Traffic jam

The latest update to Autodesk InfraWorks 360 brings a more integrated approach between design and analysis. 

This update was made available for download from 2nd September 2015



Roadway design can be a highly iterative process with designers having to balance the demands of geographic and financial constraints, compliance with geometric guidelines, and management of safety, as well as providing suitable capacity for the vehicles. While a project team may manage these considerations, they are not typically managed by a single person. What if you could do more without having to move design concepts back and forth between disciplines and the different technologies in use by each?

The inclusion of traffic simulation and analysis capabilities to the latest update to Autodesk InfraWorks 360 brings us closer to a position where all of these considerations can be addressed in a single intelligent, 3D model, drastically cutting the time required to gain approval from all internal parties on the final design.

The addition of Traffic Simulation for InfraWorks 360 isn’t the only update we have made. On the collaboration side, the ability to share your model in read-only mode has been added, giving you better control over your model data. Keep reading to find out all the ways that the latest update of InfraWorks 360 can help improve how you complete civil engineering projects.


Traffic Simulation


Traffic Simulation

The ability to run traffic simulation models has been available as an Autodesk Labs Preview for the past few months and has now graduated to become an official part of Roadway Design for InfraWorks 360. This addition will give you greater confidence in the roadway design that is passed to the Traffic Engineer for detailed analysis. With the ability to analyze and optimize as part of the design process, it is more likely to comply with capacity requirements and you won’t be going back and forth with them making numerous minor enhancements to the design.

Don’t be put off by thinking that this is a complicated tool to use. The highly intuitive graphical interface makes it clear when roads have exceeded capacity requirements and make it easy to identify where changes need to be made. You have full control over which roads are analyzed and have the ability to input traffic flow & mix, specify time of day (e.g. to model rush hour), define turn lanes and even set up signalized intersections. It even works on roundabouts!


Traffic Simulation visuals


All this is powered using proven algorithms and an analysis model taken from Azalient Software’s Commuter software which Autodesk acquired in December 2013. To use Traffic Simulation for InfraWorks 360 you need a subscription to Roadway Design for InfraWorks 360. The simulations run in the cloud and are metered by area and duration: 1km2 for 1hr = 1 Cloud Credit.


Traffic Simulation - Signalized Intersection


Rail Design

Beyond the additional capabilities related to traffic simulation and analysis, there are several other new features and improvements, especially for conceptual rail design.

You are now able to create your own detailed rail styles allowing greater flexibility in defining the various structures along a rail track. This is especially useful for troughs at tunnel entrances, circular tunnels, viaducts, etc. Coupled with this, the terrain handling has been drastically improved when transitioning between under and over ground level.


Rail - Circular tunnel and custom style editor


Rail features can also now be grouped together. For example, when you have 2 rail tracks, you can create a single bridge to carry both tracks versus having to create a bridge for each track. You can also specify the length of transitions between rail styles. While some of these features have been designed specifically for rail design, they can be applied to road design as well. One application is varying the road surface on approach to an intersection.


Rail - Conceptual enhancements


Road Design

The main enhancement for road designers in this update is the improved intersection modelling. The intersection editing tool can now be used for staggered intersections bringing greater flexibility to the design. Right-In, Right-Out intersections (and Left-In, Left-Out for the rest of us who drive on the other side of the road) can now be created simply. To complement the intersection design experience, Lane Turn Arrows can now also be defined. But it doesn’t stop at standard intersections. Roundabouts have been updated to support both left and right hand drive roads and include Standards based road markings and yield lines


Staggered Intersection with lane markings


Roundabouts road markings


Bridge Design

To complete the story of customizable bridge parts, Piers and Foundations now have a library of alternative design styles which can be used in your design to make it more realistic. These parts can be customized further in detail via the asset card. If you have multiple components (piers, girders, etc.) any change to one of these can be quickly applied across the design to similar components. Model regeneration and quantity/volume calculations are only now carried out when required, reducing unnecessary model regeneration, significantly improving performance.


Bridge - select component from library

Bridge - Apply to



I hope you were able to find something useful amongst all these new features and updates. You can find a video taking you through all of these features, and more, here. Of course, this is but a snapshot of the latest and greatest what’s new in InfraWorks 360.

Not an InfraWorks 360 user? Visit the InfraWorks 360 product center to learn more. Remember, you can also get your hands on a 30-day trial of InfraWorks 360 and take it for a spin.

Finally, do keep an eye on the InfraWorks 360 Community page for regular information and updates.

Now get out there, install this latest release of InfraWorks 360 and get creative!


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