Transforming traffic modelling with Atkins
25 Jul 2017



​In a pioneering collaboration funded by Highways England and Atkins, the STFC Hartree® Centre’s expertise is ensuring that key simulation software can meet the intense demands of a £15 billion road construction and improvement programme.




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Collaborators: Highways England, Atkins, University of Sheffield, Transport Systems Catapult

Offering: Updating and recompiling code for faster, GPU-based simulation software  

Outcome: Big runtime reductions and better simulation capabilities  

Hartree expertise is helping SATURN traffic simulation software exploit massively parallel data processing and so meet the demands of a £15 billion road construction and improvement programme.

As well as updating and recompiling new algorithms developed by The University of Sheffield to enable SATURN to run on GPUs, Hartree were pivotal in developing the interface between the code and the rest of SATURN. 

The enhanced software runs up to 30 times faster than the serial processing version and up to 5 times faster than the CPU-based multi-core version of SATURN – making it viable to perform a greater number of more​ comprehensive, more complex traffic simulations.​

left-hand quote markThe Hartree Centre was instrumental in our securing a big reduction in SATURN runtimes – an achievement with the potential to benefit the whole traffic modelling community.right-hand quote mark

Richard Bradley, Intelligent Mobility Team, Atkins

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