Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2014

Vehicle Tracking software is a comprehensive transportation analysis and design solution for vehicle swept path analysis. The software enables engineers, designers, and planners at government agencies and engineering consulting firms to predictably evaluate vehicle movements on transportation or site design projects.

Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2014 was officially launched November 7th, 2013 and is available through Autodesk directly or through your local Autodesk reseller. Learn more – http://www.autodesk.com/products/vehicle-tracking/overview.

Existing users of legacy Savoy Computing AutoTrack software are currently eligible for certain upgrade promo offers, contact Autodesk or your local Autodesk Reseller with your full AutoTrack licence details to find out more and verify eligibility.

Find a reseller – http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=1088188.

Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2014

AutoTrack

On August 19, 2013, Savoy Computing proudly announced that Autodesk had completed an acquisition of certain technology assets of Savoy Computing, including the AutoTrack technology.

So what’s happening to AutoTrack? Savoy Computing historically offered a portfolio of separate modules for vehicle swept path tracking, parking layout and roundabout analysis and design . As part of the acquisition this was combined and simplified into a single, bundled offering; ‘AutoTrack’. This single offering is available right now via existing Savoy Computing sales channels to new and existing customers at promotional prices.

AutoTrack now includes the full functionality of the following, previous AutoTrack modules:

  • AutoTrack Roads, AutoTrack Roads Pro, AutoTrack Rail and AutoTrack Airports -
    Includes the ability to analyse and simulate the turning paths and other manoeuvres of many types of steered vehicles including wheeled vehicles (trucks, cars, oversize vehicles, forklifts, construction and specialist vehicles), light rail (trams, LRT – light rapid transit, street cars) and aircraft/ support vehicles
  • AutoTrack Junctions -
    Includes the ability to follow design standard and rule-based workflows to design roundabouts and analyse for operational performance throughout preliminary design stage
  • AutoTrack Parking -
    Includes the ability to design and layout vehicle parking areas against design standards with parking facility reporting and intelligent objects
  • AutoTrack Templates and AutoTrack Templates Pro -
    Includes the ability to generate static turning templates for pre-defined or customised manoeuvres with different vehicles
  • AutoTrack Review -
    Includes the ability to audit AutoTrack objects within drawings and animate relevant objects in 3D as well as review submitted drawings for potential compliance or operational issues

Contact sales@savoycomputing.com to upgrade your existing licences through current promotional offers and enhance your capabilities.

Announcing the acquisition of AutoTrack by Autodesk

In a continued effort to expand support for Building Information Modelling (BIM) for Infrastructure workflows across the civil infrastructure project lifecycle, Autodesk has acquired technology assets from Savoy Computing Services Ltd. The addition of AutoTrack software to Autodesk’s portfolio will help civil engineering professionals connect planning and design processes with the ability to predictably evaluate vehicle movements, design parking areas and evaluate roundabout designs using design, analysis and simulation tools that are already integrated with Autodesk software including AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D.

The acquisition of AutoTrack software further supports Autodesk’s commitment to drive BIM within the transportation sub-segments of roads, highways, railways and ports. The acquisition will help Autodesk support the evolution to model-based workflows among civil engineers and designers working on transportation projects.

Read the press release here and stay tuned for more exciting happenings from Autodesk relative to this acquisition.

Autodesk logo

I need a vehicle turning template (are you sure Sir?)

Templates

It’s a common question to ask for a vehicle turning template, but are you sure that’s what you’re actually looking for? A turning template is literally just that; a template of a vehicle turning, it can be a custom template so it could even be a template based on a specialist vehicle and turning on a specified bearing with a one-off lead in distance and custom offset from the kerb (curb) edge, etc. But still, it’s a static template. Here’s one I prepared earlier:

Autotrack Template

Vehicle Paths

If you need a design that includes a simulated vehicle path, or swept path, this is different as the vehicle path contains full simulation intelligence and is able to be grip edited as the surrounding site is altered. The  path can be dragged around to clear obstacles of infrastructure, whilst the vehicle capabilities are still adhered to. Here’s an example layout using the same truck, but this time used to drive a vehicle path. As you can see it’s a lot more custom and includes a lot more site specific detail than a standard template:

Wb-65 Autotrack Vehicle Path

Vehicle Models

Just to confuse matters, the final piece in the puzzle would be vehicle models. Basically each vehicle in AutoTrack is a vehicle model; so you can choose a vehicle/ vehicle model that’s pre-built and shipped inside the software or custom build one for yourself – or edit a copy of an existing vehicle of course to make life easy. A vehicle model contains data covering vehicle dimensions and capabilities so the best screenshot is probably going to be showing a vehicle model being created/ edited along with some typical input values:

Editing Vehicle Models

Finally, Design Vehicle VS Real Vehicle – what’s the difference?!!

A Design Vehicle represents either a typical class of vehicle that needs to be accommodated (i.e. it’s an example), or its a “virtual” vehicle built up from a set of maximum values in order to represent the largest or maybe least manoeuvrable vehicle that needs to be accommodated (possibly representing a ‘worst case scenario’). A Design Vehicle would be specified in a design standard or other form of guideline documentation and you’re not going to see one driving down the road.

A real vehicle is different; its real! Real vehicles (i.e. non Design Vehicles) are manufactured based on many different factors and vary accordingly. Whilst some vehicles are extremely common, they’re not always going to the best option to use for a design – just because one manufacturer of truck will get through without problems, the next truck along may not. That said, if your analysing the route of a specialist vehicle, then only that vehicle is going to return the right results for you (and if you have the luxury of designing the entrance to a new high output truck manufacturing facility, I’d recommend asking what’ll be driving out each day!).

2D vs 3D Survey: The Results Are In!

We recently posed the following survey question in relation to AutoTrack Roads Pro:-

“What proportion of your time do you spend working with 3D design models or visualisations as opposed to 2D models?”

Well, we were delighted with the excellent response which produced a satisfyingly linear spread of values between 2D and 3D.  So, here are the results, expressed first as a bar chart:-

Image

and then as a pie chart:-

Blog2Dvs3DSurveyPieChart

Whichever way you look at it, well over a third (38.1%) of all respondents still only work in 2D, and nearly two thirds (61.9%) of you spend the majority of your time working in 2D.  Less than 5% work in 3D all the time.

Given that we live in age in which both software and computing power is readily available to perform 3D analyses this surely suggests that the vast majority of engineers, for most of their project work, simply don’t want to model vehicle manoeuvres in 3D.  As I mentioned in a previous post, an important aspect of good engineering is knowing when and how to use the most appropriate and cost-effective methods on any given project.  However, it does rather lead on to the question, “why not model manoeuvres in 3D?”, after all, we live in a 3D world with 3D obstacles!  Could it perhaps be because 3D base data is often not available for many day to day projects and, with no 3D data to check against, there’s no point in modelling vehicles moving in 3D.

One can only assume that, as time goes on, and 3D base data becomes universally available, for even the simplest projects, engineers will be able to make more use of 3D analysis and visualisation tools.

Sharing AutoTrack vehicle library (.ATL) files

If someone sends you an .ATL file for a new vehicle, or even a whole new set of vehicles within a new vehicle library, to model in AutoTrack; what do you do with it? Well the answer is simple:

  1. Save the .ATL file in any folder location that AutoTrack is set to search when it loads. By default this is My Documents\My AutoTrack Data\Library (Tip: You can also specify network locations for shared vehicle libraries via AutoTrack > System Settings > Directories).
    Saving AutoTrack Vehicle Library Files
  2. Restart or reload AutoTrack and the new library file will appear in your AutoTrack vehicle library explorer. Fact!
    Cool New Vehicles