Users Report Vol.129
Mitsubishi Estate Parks Co., Ltd.
Consulting Business Division

Meeting Advancing Needs for Parking Lots with
Unique Solutions Using ICT      
Using UC-win/Road for Visualization from
Design Phase, Introducing Vehicle Trajectory
Mapping System for examining articulated buses

Mitsubishi Estate Parks Co., Ltd.
Location: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Services: Parking lot consultancy,
parking management operation trust

"We created a tool or a system that enables the users to examine what kind of (structure of) parking lot it would be in the design phase by visualizing the inside of the uncompleted building (in 3D VR) using its (two-dimensional <2D>) design drawing, and performing simulation by operating the steering wheel of a vehicle."

Being engaged in consulting service specialized in parking lots, they came up with problems such as difficulties in space perception and expression of the details as well as confirming safety of traveling routes only by using conventional 2D CAD drawings. To clear these restrictions, they have been endeavoring to self-develop new technologies to be required as a parking lot consultant using advancing ICT (Information and Communication Technology) freely, according to Mr. Masami Ikegami, Technical Advisor of Mitsubishi Estate Parks Co., Ltd.

As a characteristic example of these endeavors, he mentioned "3D Parking Simulator". The system, which was built up about 4 years ago, has been used for checking parking lot design in multiple projects and favorably accepted by the clients, says Mr. Ikegami.

Our user to pick up for this issue is Consulting Business Division, which performs various kinds of examination about the parking lot part in the design phase within Mitsubishi Estate Parks Co., Ltd. Special focus is placed on the activities of those who are in charge of analyses and examination of the inside of the parking lot or the area including the intersection close to the parking lot, and simulation for their activities.

About 2 years ago, the Company introduced "UC-win/Road", 3D real-time VR of FORUM8 for the simulator mentioned above and traffic simulation, for the purpose of using it in connection with the traffic analysis results of "Vissim" (German PTV product), multi-modal traffic flow simulation software they had introduced before, or using each of them properly. At the same time, the Company also introduced FORUM8's "Vehicle Trajectory Mapping System", a program for calculation of vehicle trajectory and trajectory mapping for simulation of articulated buses. The Company is developing unique usages with focus on their respective characteristics.

Confirmation the parking lot plan carried out
by utilizing 3D Parking Simulator
Mr. Masami Ikegami,
Technical Advisor of
Mitsubishi Estate Parks Co., Ltd.

 Renamed on April 1

Parking lot consultancy business was started in Parking Management Organization Ltd., which was established in 1998. This Organization was integrated into the parking business of Mitsubishi Real Estate Services Co., Ltd. as of April 1, 2020 and newly started as Mitsubishi Estate Parks Co., Ltd.

The new company not only strengthens and promotes traditional businesses as an integrated parking lot company but also makes efforts in research and development of methods for operating parking lots for next generation through utilizing advanced technologies including AI and IoT. They have drawn their vision of contributing to town planning in the new mobility era with the parking lots as its core, collaborating also with knowledge of other group companies.

 Actual Condition of Parking Lot Consultancy and Effective Utilization of ICT
The parking lot consultancy business of the Company covers a wide range of businesses as follows:
  1. Examination about design of parking lots, design drawing, and giving advice for improvement;
  2. Layout planning of control equipment for parking lots,
  3. Implementation planning of the mechanical car parking apparatus;
  4. Examination of road marking, traffic guidance signs, and traffic safety signs;
  5. Design drawing and perspective drawing of parking lots;
  6. Examination of commercialization or management of parking lots;
  7. Preparation of materials for consultation. 

In Consulting Business Division, for example, the number of vehicles coming into the parking lot in the design phase is set, and analysis is made as to whether the concerned parking lot is able to treat these vehicles within the decided time from diverse points of view. If some improvement is needed, the Division summarizes what kind of vehicle routes, parking control systems or guiding signs are required to be changed in the design so that the problems can be treated, and proposes the design change to the clients. Technical Advisor Ikegami, who is in charge of traffic treatment that reflects factors such as time zones and days of week, as well as analyses of diverse kinds of data such as situations of operation of parking lots or earnings and expenses, explains some of their work.

This is based on the Company's original stance positive to effective utilization of ICT. That is, as one of the useful tools in the process of works like those written above, a 3D parking simulator has been built up.

The driving simulator is installed in a room within the Company's facility. Utilizing commercial software and hardware products appropriately, it was systematized so as to allow the users to simulate the space within parking lots three-dimensionally based on CAD drawings. "UC-win/Road is used in this simulator in order to simulate traffic lanes in the parking lot, parking spaces, or slopes by moving vehicles in specific ways". The staff in the Division, who noticed the potentiality of UC-win/Road before it was introduced, mentioned the position of UC-win/Road in the system. According to him, while originally visualization with 3D was used as part of checking of the fundamental design, in recent years, the weight on the needs for visualization itself are increasing as such an approach spreads.

  Introducing Vehicle Trajectory Mapping System to
  Meet the Needs for Examining Articulated Buses

"I am doing various works regarding hardware (for parking lots). Using CAD and Illustrator, I create (images of) 'desirable forms of road markings or signs in the parking lots' concretely on PC and incorporate them into the material (as my main tasks)."

Mr. Shou Yoshimura in Consulting Department in Consulting Business Division used FORUM8's "Vehicle Trajectory Mapping System" for the first time 2 years ago when it was required to draw the traveling trajectory of articulated buses.

In the Division, they had been using a different program to draw vehicle trajectory. However, in a project for constructing a large-scale bus terminal at the bottom of a building, a need arose to examine vehicle trajectory of articulated buses. Since the existing software that the Company had owned was unable to deal with it, they introduced FORUM8's Vehicle Trajectory Mapping System, which was the only commercial program capable to do it. By using this, they have been working out explanation or proposals to the clients, for example, saying "This traffic lane has no problem in terms of trajectory (even though an articulated bus travels)", or "It is a bit difficult (for articulated buses to travel) around here in design. What do you think of this plan?" 

"We have heard from the clients that our method is very helpful. For example, "It was only possible to draw the trajectory of a single vehicle. However, as it became possible to draw the trajectory of articulated vehicles, it became possible to use (the result) for consultation for verification."

 Linking Vissim with UC-win/Road for Effective Utilization

On the other hand, about 5 years ago, a competition was held for constructing a large-scale parking lot with a parking capacity of 5,000. Several companies including general contractors took part in it. Commissioned by one of these companies, the Company took charge of examining how many vehicles can be treated and parked in the given parking lots per an hour in the parking lot in the design phase. Mr. Ikegami, Technical Advisor remembers that in traffic simulation in that project, they used Vissim for the first time for verification.

The Division has been using Vissim in various projects as follows: 1) A proposal of a large-scale parking lot with a capacity of 2,500. Several patterns of improvement plans of the slope based on the fundamental design were made, ranked in the order from the shortest processing time by traffic simulation;
2) Verification of traffic processing in the parking lot for employees, where entering vehicles are concentrated at about an hour before the opening hour;
and 3) Verification of traffic processing within the parking lot including traffic lights and vehicles flowing in and out of the peripheral areas, in order to consider processing capacity at the close intersection and impact on the peripheral roads.

Click to enlarge the image.
Click to enlarge the image.
Examination using UC-win/Road
Click to enlarge the image.
Click to enlarge the image.
Examination using parking lot design VR
Click to enlarge the image.
Click to enlarge the image.
Simulation of vehicle staying within the parking lot


2 years ago, when they examined automated driving technology in parking lots, the Division introduced UC-win/Road. There they paid attention to the function of UC-win/Road that also allows for vehicle behavior simulation similar to Vissim while allowing for responding to the vehicle movement that Vissim cannot represent. In addition, UC-win/Road is capable of loading the results of traffic flow analysis of Vissim and visualize them. Furthermore, while Vissim is good at representing traffic processing to deal with a large number of vehicles, UC-win/Road easily respond to representation of how each vehicle is moving. The complementary functions of both were well expected. In the examination above, it was decided to introduce UC-win/Road because of its capability of reproducing behavior of individual vehicle with automated diving.

There, "a vehicle comes in and stop for a while, and back up into a parking lot to park. Then it leaves traveling again." The prerequisites of this series of movement are entered into UC-win/Road as the parameters. Then, the movement of all 150 vehicles, for example, "in the case that 50 automated vehicles and 100 manual vehicles come into the parking lot within an hour" are reproduced on UC-win/Road, with different proportion of both groups.

 New Approach to Advancing Needs for Parking Lots

"It is considered that matters on articulated buses will increase in the future." However, since there are some restrictions on spaces of roads and parking lots in the city center areas, Mr. Yoshimura assumes that needs would be increasing in the regions centering around ordinance-designated cities. In addition, based on the diversifying and advancing demands about parking lots, he says that the knowledge they have accumulated are going to be more and more important in examination using Vehicle Trajectory Mapping System.

Mr. Yoshimura also highly evaluates the functions of UC-win/Road capable of connecting 3D models or analysis data generated by other tools seamlessly. In addition, he mentioned its advantages that Vissim and UC-win/Road can be used in collaboration or separately according to the needs of individual projects. He says that for the projects related to automated driving, which are expected to expand in the future, they are also considering the next step of utilizing UC-win/Road such as MATLAB linkage.

As a characteristic tendency around recent parking lots, Technical Advisor Ikegami lists up the following items: 1) Increase in the number of vehicles going in and out of the parking lots along with increase in size of parking lots; 2) mixture of diverse levels of functions of vehicles for automated driving; and 3) Change in the mixture ratio to the existing vehicles caused by gradual spread of self-driving car in parking lots. He mentioned the importance of these kinds of simulation in these situations.

"In the sense that UC-win/Road covers what Vissim is unable to represent, it can be said that combination of these two makes it possible to perform excellent simulation. We would like to use them (more effectively) by examining case by case ."

Click to enlarge the image.
3D Parking Simulator Staff members of Consulting Business Division,
Mitsubishi Estate Parks Co., Ltd.
(shot on March 10, 2020)
(Written by Takashi Ikeno)
(Up&Coming '20 Spring issue)