Vehicles and Traffic
A complete virtual world generation process needs realistic, attractive,
polygon-efficient, dynamic models of every sort of contemporary vehicle that
may travel on, above or around a virtual terrain. Desirable: several
levels of details, working indicator lights, and at least external moving parts
should move. Rather disorganized notes follow...
- as far as i can tell, there are no sources of fully-implemented vehicles,
commercial or otherwise, so we must start with a simple mesh, or adapt models
which are already designed for some specific simulation environment
- Commercial and "free" models are easily available from site like
Turbo Squid or
- However, even the so-called "free" models cannot generally not be redistributed,
greatly limiting their usefulness. Each model has its own copyright
and license. A handful of models have Creative Commons or similarly
- The SketchUp 3D
Warehouse also has many vehicle models.
- However, permission to use the models there are quite confusing.
From the Terms of Service:
- "By submitting [..] Content through the 3D Warehouse,
you grant end users a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual
license to: 1. to reproduce the Content; 2. to create and reproduce derivative
works of the Content; 3. to display publicly and distribute copies of the
Content; 4. to display publicly and distribute copies of derivative works
of the content."
- That sounds good. However, "end users may not [..]
use or distribute Content obtained from the 3D Warehouse in a mapping or
geographic application or service without Google’s prior authorization."
Vehicles - Ground
- Road-Vehicle Physics (Dynamics and Simulation)
- need simple road dynamics - e.g.. velocity-based movement, terrain following
and collision detection
- Open Dynamics Engine (ODE)
- free, industrial quality library for simulating articulated rigid
body dynamics - for example ground vehicles
- a simple open-source example:
Car Simulation using ODE
- A free, EU-funded, open-source driving simulator for R&D in the
automotive industry as well as scientific studies.
- Main contributor is the Automotive Group at the German Research
Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).
- some existing commercial software:
- Havok (merged with Ipion)
- "Enjoy driving full physically modeled cars!"
- executable vehicle demos available; no price/licensing costs
on their website
- simulates vehicles, with strong claims of "speed, physical accuracy
and ease of use"
- intended to be licensed by game developers for $5-20k
- Carsim/Trucksim from Mechanical
- "Vehicle dynamics simulation has never been easier, faster,
or more configurable."
- an integrated set of tools for simulating and analyzing dynamic
acceleration, braking and handling of cars and light trucks under
a variety of simulated test conditions
- it's not clear whether it could work for realtime use
- physics core is Mathworks
- The Newton Game Dynamics
engine is closed-source but is portable and has a flexible license.
There are examples available of using it for vehicle simulation.
- Network Behavior - Traffic
- also need simple traffic-following behavior - e.g.. cars that know to
slow down for curves, stop at red lights, and don't drive into each other
- SUMO - Simulation
of Urban MObility
- An open-source (GPL), cross-platform, microscopic, multi-modal
and continuous road traffic simulation software being developed by
two big German research organizations, the DLR and the ZAIK.
- Built on GDAL, Xerces and Fox Toolkit for a GUI.
documentation for the applications is online.
- Hank Driving Simulation
at the University of Iowa
Analysis of Micro-Simulation Tools is a huge list of traffic simulators,
both free and commercial, as of 1998. Many are now defunct, others
- MITSIM (from MIT) is one of
the better live academic ones
- Paramics (UK-based)
and VISSIM (Germany) are two common
- TSS AIMSUM (Barcelona) had a quite sophisticated 3D option (AIMSUM
3D) even back in the 1990s; as of 2008 the 3D is integrated into the
- Trafficware Synchro Studio
has become popular as of 2006.
- TSIS CORSIM
was apparently the most widely-used back in 2000, since eclipsed by
newer, slicker software
TransModeler Traffic Simulation Software ($10,000)
from Caliper (Massachusetts)
- added 3D viz with their 2.0 version
- "incorporates all the benefits of a GIS, a traffic simulator and
a 3D visualization tool"
- Physics of Transport and
The Nagel-Schreckenberg-Model Traffic Simulator (Java applet)
- Washington Post:
Lab Studying Science Behind Traffic Patterns
- "Barrett's team is creating a vast, mirror world in cyberspace of
every motorist and transit rider"
- Scientific American article, Unjamming Traffic with Computers (now seems
to be offline, cached here)
- are there any standards for data format, for representing traffic
flow in road networks? it appears the answer is no. Paramics
does have a fairly straightforward text format.
Vehicles - Air
- see Airports and Airplanes: Leveraging the Flight
- Raw models. There are e.g. 747 and DC10 models which are free,
but often lack important parts like landing gear. This info has to
be dug up with web research, e.g. a 747 has "16 49-inch main landing gear
tires and two nose landing gear tires."
LaRCsim is a set of ANSI C routines that implement a full set of
equations of motion for a rigid-body aircraft, from "NASA LaRC"
- Aircraft types and airline markings
Seat Maps has pictures of every type of aircraft and exact seating
- CIGI (Common Image Generator Interface)
- CIGI's Multi-Purpose Viewer (MPV) has a Content archive which includes
a number of military-oriented vehicle models collected from various free
sources, which are redistributable to varying degrees. As of March
2006, this includes:
- from 3dkingdom.org: F4E-Phantom,
F15, SU-34, SU-47-Slika
- from CSP: F22
- from Delta3D's asset library (from
helix, mi24_hind, MV-22, UH-1N
- from Digitalanimators.com:
- from Exchange3d.com: SU-37
- from Turbosquid: A-6, Apache, F-22, U2, A-10, C-47
Vehicles - Water
- Some boat applications include
Sail Simulator (€25), Virtual
Sailor ($30), and Ship
- Those apps contains lots of great boat models - "from massive cargo
ships and ferries, to speedboats, yachts, water taxis and even the mighty
- However, they are closed-source commercial apps, no model sharing.