We use SUMO for traffic simulation. SUMO is an open-source traffic simulation suite that offers a broad range of tools and solutions. It has been under development for 14 years and is still evolving through the joint efforts of both the original creators (‘Institute of Transportation Systems’, Germany), while also by independent developers and institutions around the world.
It is a software package that allows for explicit microscopic simulations, simulation of multi-modal traffic, traffic light scheduling, and more. There are no limitations to the extents of the road network that can be used, since OpenStreetMap maps can be directly imported into SUMO. Alternatively, there is a built-in cross-platform compatibility with well renowned software such as VISUM and VISSUM, so O-D matrices and network files can be imported easily.
The output of the simulations includes visualization of traffic, along with detailed data on traffic counts per link or per traffic zone. The results can also be expressed as environmental impacts, emissions and noise levels.
To sum up, SUMO is a powerful tool, open and free, that can perform valuable operations for any traffic study. It is highly customizable and while this is its key strength, it is also a factor that calls for an adequate level of IT competence from the user side. Therefore a basic level of programming knowledge is advised in order to get the most out of the SUMO experience.