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Advanced Virtual Agents for Testing the Accessibility of Rail Stations

Final Report Summary - AVATARS (Advanced Virtual Agents for Testing the Accessibility of Rail Stations)

AVATARS developed a system of technologies to accurately simulate the movement of passengers in and around train terminals during both emergency situations and during normal traffic flow. The created tools enable designers to populate structures with realistic interactive agents and to follow their movements through a series of predefined, realistic scenarios. In this fashion, AVATARS allows testing of building designs for passenger comfort and convenience.

Three major software tools were developed. The first looks at agent interaction, specifically their interaction with each other – as well as their interaction with the environment. The second development is a tool which allows for the rapid generation of test scenarios in order to speed up and simplify simulation runs. The third tool, assists users to isolate any problems within the terminal design.

Evaluation of these tools was conducted in a testing environment taking real-world information from operating terminals and trains to produce complex multi-event scenarios capable of evaluating the AVATARS software. A successful prototype has consequently been developed according to specifications of the end user.