Last week we had a demo of the UC-Win/Roads software from Forum8 which was all about real-time visualisation of urban areas with a focus on road and transport projects. The software was actually rather too roads centric still, with some nice tools for creating roads and integrating them with the landscape with cut'n'fill, bridges, tunnels etc. The traffic flows along the roads obeying road rules, lights and has some nice controls for traffic types and densities though it isnt a simulation - it is visualisation.
There is some nice connectivity for the Civil3D, 3ds, Exodus, Inroads and LandXML. It seemed quite similar to some demos of SimUrban, but with a road-centric feel a nicer interface but without the same level capability under the hood.
The game engines we have been using deliver far superior visuals, but lack a way to 'play' the map without the software which this one does, though it is a cost per player which becomes just as prohibative.
The cool thing is that it was all live in 3D on her laptop.This is just the beginning of such things still, but this real-time approach still holds fascination for me.
[image of the uc-win/roads software from the Forum8 site]