The number of events where large amounts of people are involved are increasing. Licensing authorities of events, such as soccer matches, King’s day, and the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, demand that crowds of up to 800,000 visitors are guided safely through these gatherings.
But how can you ensure that a city can receive more than one million visitors in a few days? Where and when do potential dangerous situations occur, how can we detect them in advance and during the event? These are relevant questions, given the big number of injuries and deaths resulting from events such as the Hajj, the Love Parade and the Dutch Remembrance Day.
The crowd simulation research of Dr. Roland Geraerts and his team has led to algorithms and software which can answer such questions. The software is used by Homeland Security (simulation and training) and InControl (simulation for Queen’s day and the abdication, soccer stadiums and the Efteling). These researchers have recently made simulations for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, together with the company Movares and the city of Utrecht.
In the movie, Geraerts explains (in Dutch) how the simulations were created. “Sometimes we react as individuals, but often we react as a group. All those different circumstances are processed in the simulation software.”
Geraerts and his team have developed high-tech simulation technology and software. They are closely involved in the COMMIT/ Project. Geraerts is Assistant Professor at the Virtual Worlds division in the Department of Information & Computing Sciences.
Start project: February 2013
Goal: research collaboration and commercialization of software
Role Utrecht Holdings: knowledge transfer and business development support
Contact: Mirko Lukacs