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SImulations for SAfety at Major Events


One of the main objectives of this project is the combination of two software simulations to enable a unified forecast of pedestrian and urban traffic. This combination provides licensing authorities and planning offices with a scientifically validated open source tool for better evaluation of traffic dynamics.


Funded by:Helmholtz Association
Duration:May 2019 - April 2021
  • German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Transportation Systems
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (FZJ), Civil Safety Research (IAS-7)
  • International Training Centre for Crowd & Safety Management (IBIT)
  • Academy for Crisis Management, Emergency Planning and Civil Protection (AKNZ)

IAS-7 Team

SISAME Motivation and Objectives

In Germany many millions of people attend major events every year. Organizers and licensing authorities have a duty to ensure that the streams of visitors do not become a life-threatening dense crowd. Especially since the tragic events at the Love Parade 2010 in Duisburg, all those involved in the planning, approval and implementation of major events are aware of this. In order to fulfil their responsibility, they must take into account the flow of people on the event site, but also consider how the event is integrated into the traffic of the surrounding area. In short, the safety of visitors requires a reliable forecast and a holistic view of all traffic flows. However, the reality so far has been different: Although organizers are increasingly requesting traffic simulations to prove safety, the quality of the tools used and the validity of their results are doubtful. In addition, the staff of the commissioned planning offices as well as the examining clerks in the approval authorities are usually not sufficiently qualified to check the plausibility of simulation results. Both of these factors mean that they often have to blindly trust the results of questionable black box simulations - with far-reaching consequences for the safety of visitors.

Simulation of a Train Station with SUMOSimulation of a train station near an event hall with SUMO

Simulation of Pedestrians at a Train StationSimulation of pedestrians reaching the train station and moving to the event hall

We start at two points to improve this situation: the simulation tool and the qualification of its users. While the simulation software SUMO (DLR) simulates road traffic, JuPedSim (FZJ) develops forecasts for pedestrian traffic. By coupling both software tools we want to enable a holistic view of all traffic flows at an event.

At the same time, we develop a curriculum in close cooperation with IBIT and AKNZ to offer pilot training courses for users in planning offices and approval authorities. This will enable them to critically review the (traffic) planning of major events, to detect and avoid safety deficits at an early stage.

Highlights of the IAS-7 contribution to SISAME

  • Tools for configuring, simulating and anylzing the movement of a crowd
  • Constant further development and improvement of movement models
  • Validation with experimental data gathered in laboratory and field studies