Transport for London

Crowd Control & Health and Safety for Transport for London

Creating a virtual crowd simulation to examine the effects of different crowd management strategies as well as a virtual Health & Safety application.

Can we use a virtual environment for planning and training purposes? 

Transport for London is responsible for the transport system in Greater London and employs more than 25 000 people. Among the work they do is designing, building and operating the underground train stations under Great Britain's capital. Some of the problems that they are facing are:

Getting staff properly trained in workplace safety is one of our top priorities. Accidents are an unfortunate but avoidable part of the job in these construction projects.

Being able to play around with a few different scenarios before opening a station to the public would greatly improve the traveller's experience and limit delays.

This project was undertaken by the London Underground “Engineering Development & Research Team” to explore station design and customer behaviour to allow for improvements in capacity and reliability.

Let's create a virtual version of Victoria station..

So that we can use it for Health & Safety training for staff in Virtual Reality.

Try out different crowd control strategies by simulating an AI crowd.

Crowd Control Simulation

One virtual world for two purposes.

We've modelled a virtual version of London Victoria station using pre-existing CAD models and used this virtual world as the backdrop for two different applications.

Crowd Control

We've created AI travellers to move through this space and programmed their behaviour to reflect different real-life personas, responding in a lifelike way to varying signage that can be put up. TfL staff can then play around with the number of travellers and the type of signage to see how this affects the flow of people.

Health & Safety

Using the same model, we've also created an application allowing TfL construction staff to wander around a virtual, live building site and take a challenge to spot typical safety hazards. At the end of the test, participants receive a score. The safety conditions are randomised every time, so the challenge can be taken more than once and participants can try to improve on their score.

Health & Safety

Features of Crowd Control App.

Change Traveller volume

Change the number of travellers and let them enter the station from different station entrances. 

Change type of traveller
There are different types of travellers behaving differently. Tourists wander around more because they don't know exactly where to go, whereas commuters walk faster and with more determination.
Move signage around

Move things like signs, barricades and turnstiles around the space and run the simulation to see how different setups affect different types of travellers.

Simulation

Change simulation parameters and run the simulation to see how these changes affect the flow of passengers.

Features of Health & Safety App.

Exploring

Wander around the building site and find people working on different projects.

Safe or unsafe?

Per work situation the participant is asked if safety norms are being followed or not. If you've answered correctly, you receive a point.

Score

A score is kept to monitor a participant's performance. A certain level needs to be reached for people to pass the test and players get to retry and improve their score.

Randomisation

All work sites in the simulation are randomised so the challenge can be played more than once for improved learning results.