VISTA is a transportation modelling framework providing Dynamic Traffic Assignment (DTA), traffic simulation, reporting over the Internet. Developed at Northwestern University, the VISTA model has been successfully used on transportation projects across the USA and Europe. VISTA can simulate the movements of multiple modes across large networks and incorporate the effects of ITS and traveler information systems into driver behavior.

The system may be deployed at the state, regional, or city level, or for an academic institution or private firm. For government deployments, the State Department of Transportation (DOT), the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s), County Engineers, City Engineers, Transit Agencies, Freight Agencies, and other stakeholders will have access to the system at various authorization levels to obtain/maintain data, run models and perform analysis. Policy makers at the Federal, State and Local governments will be able to monitor projects, obtain data, evaluate impacts of policies and make decisions.

Academic institutions with VISTA installations may provide support to transportation projects within their region or state. VISTA may also be used as a research tool to evaluate new models for assignment, simulation, or routing.

One unique feature of VISTA is that it is fully capable of being accessed over the Internet. A typical VISTA installation is hosted and run on computers accessible by any authorized user at any time anywhere Internet access is available. This eliminates the need for having new software installed on individual computers. This also eliminates the need to upgrade users’ computers to handle the increased demands of running a simulation model. Any authorized user can modify their model, run the model, and obtain the results using a typical web browser. It also ensures consistency in analysis because all users have access to the same networks and model results. The proliferation of mobile wireless devices provides an added incentive for users to have current data wherever they are located.