Evacuation and Mobilization of Senior Citizens in Emergency Situations ? an Example of Microsimulation Visualisation



Evacuation and Mobilization of Senior Citizens in Emergency Situations ? an Example of Microsimulation Visualisation

Authors

B P Hafferty, K Shibata, Forum8 Co., Ltd., UK; T H Lorentzen, Y Ito, Forum8 Co., Ltd., JP

Description

Real-time virtual reality technology simulates and visualizes a highway emergency tunnel evacuation. Micro-simulation analysis results invoke ideas for improving urban infrastructure to assist senior citizens' mobility/evacuation times in an emergency.

Abstract

This paper describes how the use of state-of-the-art real-time interactive 3D
virtual reality (VR) visualisation technology, coupled with the latest
microsimulation software, can enable transport and urban infrastructure
planners, as well as emergency / security response professionals, to simulate
a range of crisis scenarios leading to a more sophisticated and holistic
approach to infrastructure development.

Many advanced economies, particularly Asia and Western Europe, are now
facing population ageing. Pedestrian dynamics and circulation have shifted
and of particular concern is safety and mobility in crisis situations.

This paper uses as an example a recent tunnel evacuation study by Japanese
company Taisei Engineering that used leading edge 3D VR visualisation
technology UC-win/Road (http://www.forum8.com/english/uc-win/ucwin-road-e1.htm#30406)
coupled with SMARTFIRE (http://fseg.gre.ac.uk/smartfire/) and the microsimulation
software EXODUS (http://fseg.gre.ac.uk/exodus/) to visualize and analyse the
different reactions of two different groups of people fleeing a road tunnel fire.

The analysis compares evacuation times for the two test groups: one with an
average age of 40, and the second with an average age of 70. The analysis
showed that 100% of the first group managed to escape the fire, whereas in
the second older group, there was a survival rate of only 90.5%.

The result of this study shows quite clearly how high quality 3D virtual reality
simulation has the potential to serve as an extremely valuable tool in the
ongoing development of safer and more secure transport evacuation
infrastructure and better emergency signage.

Publisher

Association for European Transport