rCITI researchers: Dr Vinayak Dixit & Dr Zhitao Xiong. 

Supported by the ARC Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facility (LIEF) 2013 grant, the TRAvel Choice Simulation LABoratory, or TRACSLab, is a world-first in transportation visualisation. This laboratory allows researchers to study travel choice and inter-dependent behavioural characteristics by incorporating group interactions.

Driving simulators for more accurate results

TRACSLab is made up of driving simulators networked together to answer fundamental questions on travel choice. Data sourced using TRACSLab is much more useful than that gained driving a vehicle because the variables can be set and changed to suit the particular situation. TRACSLab has the ability to connect with traffic microsimulation software that simulates vehicles and is widely used in traffic studies. 

International collaboration potential

Because TRACSLab is portable and can network over high speed internet it means experiments can be conducted on an international scale – which makes collaboration with overseas researchers a much more attractive proposition. Interest has already been shown from the United Kingdom, China and the United States.

The TRACSLab facility can be used for many purposes. For example, it could be used to investigate potential demand for a planned toll road, by actually simulating the toll road in the lab and maintains complete observability, this is a far cry from field data collection using surveys.

The future of TRACSLab

The TRACSLab team consists of leading researchers at rCITI and the iCinema Centre at UNSW whose expertise ranges from the use of stated choice experiments, travel network modelling and experimental economics in conducting travel behaviour research as well as simulation and visualisation.