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Modeling and Simulation in the ITS Domain

Modeling and simulation is the process of creating a digital prototype in order to predict real-world performance. Modeling and simulation is critical to developing complex systems, and ensuring their performance. Simulation modeling is used by designers, engineers, and ITS professionals to better understand in which ways a product could potentially fail, and how to avert those failures. Modeling and simulation supports the entire product life cycle from concept design to integration, testing, and evaluation. Modeling and simulation even helps to support during deployment, and future evolution of the product, as M&S simulations can be performed throughout the product life cycle.

Modeling and simulation helps ITS professionals to make both technical and program-based decisions based on hard data. Usually one cannot test a system before it has been built. Therefore, a strong capability in modeling and simulation is needed to provide managers, and engineers with the data they need to create sustainable products.

Simulation modeling uses a 3D CAD tool to develop a digital prototype. This prototype is then analyzed using 3D mesh. CAD operators can design their own structured meshes to finely control the model. Next, a finite element analysis will be performed including boundary conditions which mimic how the product will be utilized in real life. Finally, the results of these analyses will be reviewed so that engineering decisions can be made.

To summarize, three activities must be performed to ensure the success of modeling and simulation efforts. First, one must produce a model. Secondly, one must utilize this model in a simulation. Finally, management must ensure that both the model and the simulation are interconnected properly.

Systems engineering costs for modeling and simulation can skyrocket quickly. Companies like Raytheon suggest that genSIM is a tool that can provide, “rapid, low cost, low risk simulation development.”

It is also important to note that as your system matures, further modeling and simulation will be required. Don’t forget to perform forward-time simulations to account for environmental factors, and wear and tear. These forward-time simulations can help you to glimpse into the future of the system, and make forward-thinking decisions to ensure the efficiency of the operation.
Developing a simulation environment which users can be immersed in can be valuable not only for modeling and simulation, but also for training employees. Event parking simulation models are utilized in the ITS industry to simulate driving, and parking behaviors. Understanding how drivers, road systems, and parking management interact is key to designing parking systems with the best output. Testing a parking management system with modeling and simulations of traffic can help the system to pivot, and optimize the product before it is implemented in your parking garage. Be sure to ask your parking management systems provider how they utilize modeling and simulation to test the effectiveness of their custom solutions before you make a purchasing decision.

Some software often used for modeling and simulation includes COMSOL, Patran, Solidworks Simulation, Abaqus, and Autodesk Inventor Professional.