Transport for London (TfL) is turning to gaming technology to help boost efficiency on projects.
Speaking at the inaugural Autodesk University conference in London, TfL lead modelling specialist Vladimir Vorotovic explained how virtual reality (VR) software is helping to shave months off the design process.
Instead of taking up to 18 months and several drafts to find the best result, a VR programme called Stingray quickly models outcomes and allows designs to be altered much more quickly.
“Perhaps in hours, perhaps in days, you can come up with virtually the best possible solution,” said Vorotovic.
TfL has been using the game engine software for around seven months, including on plans for the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street. The programme builds on 3D modelling software called 3D Max.
“The distinction with the game engine is you put that scene and model in the game engine software and instead of just looking from one part, you can look at any point in that scene,” said Vorotovic.
“It’s quite challenging because it requires a lot of computational power and work, but it gives you freedom of movement.”
He added that industry reaction to the gamification of planning has generally been positive, as people are more likely to feel engaged with the project.
“We don’t show now just some graphs and data and pie charts explaining what this means; we actually take people and show them the model,” he said.