|When the accident and fire occur in the long tunnel, it is very important
for the tunnel management staff to provide the evacuation order in the
Any judgmental errors in fire evacuation may involve human lives and should not be condoned.
For example, the fire accident of truck that occurred in Montblanc tunnel, France, 1999 killed 39 lives.
It is because the tunnel manager gave inappropriate orders in the evacuation process.
It is important for the tunnel managers to prepare and assume the situation to provide the order in a calm and reassuring manner while judging the current condition when the accident occurs.
BMIA, Bordeaux in France recreated a variety types of accident with the virtual reality (VR) technology, and developed the training system "G'VAL Training System) for the preparation of their judgement, order, and counter measure.
The function is very realistic and we can say it is the tunnel version of flight simulator which is used for the training of pilot.
In front of the tunnel manager "Trainee", the movie of television camera installed in the tunnel, SCADA screen which represents the operating condition such as ventilation fan and electric bulletin board, and monitor which represents the alarm screen from alarm equipment are installed.
These screens are connected to G'VAL system, and the contents which are similar to the actual tunnel management system can be realistically represented by UC-win/Road.
The trainer "instructor" creates the scenario of accident by combining the accident contents including fire and clash under the condition of weather, time, traffic amount, and speed. This is provided to the trainee via G'VAL system as the "Task" for the training.
For example, the instructor sets up the accident scenario where the vehicle is broken and stops in the tunnel, and the fire occurs, and he/she runs this scenario in G'VAL system.
In the monitor camera of trainee, the situation is displayed, and the fire alarm is activated. And this is the time the trainee can show their skill.
They need to take measures from moment to moment by checking the current condition with the monitor screen and SCADA, and alarm; the order of traffic control, rescue team, and smoke ventilation.
And then, the patrol car and fire engine entering the tunnel based on the order are displayed in the monitoring camera at the entrance of tunnel, and the scene where these vehicles arrive at the accident site late is displayed in the camera near the site. To experience the feeling of lapsed time is one of the important training elements.
Depending on the location and size of fire, they may need to turn the traffic lights at the tunnel entrance to red to prevent the entry of other vehicles, and order the drivers in the tunnel to follow the evacuation path with electric signboard.
The action and judgment of trainee are registered with the monitor camera and SCADA data, and the evaluation report is output. In other words, we can verify and review if their judgment was appropriate and if there is anything to be improved after the training.
Actually, when the accident happened, we cannot turn back the clock even we think "If I could do different way..". However, with this training program, we can learn from the G'VAL system result to do different way. This is the main merit of this program.
The repeated training assuming the various scenarios will foster the high-skilled tunnel administrators who can perform an action without the pressure in the event of an emergency.
BMIA has this G'VAL system of demonstration equipment which is connected with 6 monitors and 3 computers.
Mr. Philippe Marsaud, technical director of BMIA comes from Bordeaux. He studied in the engineering school in Paris, and has worked as an engineer of oil development, robotics, and automation.
He has developed the tunnel integrated management system "SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition)" for seven years since he started his own business in Paris as a consultant of tunnel in 1999.
After that, Mr. Philippe Marsaud decided to create the simulation system of tunnel. The new company which was established with his wife in Bordeaux is BMIA.
Mr. Marsaud mentioned the reason as "There was no available tunnel simulation system in the market at that time".
Currently, BMIA carries out two types of business. One is the consulting business, and they provide the training of SCADA system. Another is the software development business. They have developed some software: "G'Tun"-Tunnel simulator, "G'Road"-Road simulator, "Sofaex"-The order, action, telephone of tunnel manager are recorded, and "Genesuite"-Project management software.
G'Tun and G'Road allow the simulation of electric bulletin board, lane closure, obstacles, camera, repeater indicator, traffic signal, emergency light, tunnel light.
It creates the data including traffic stream, accident, ventilation fan, exhaust gas, ventilation condition, door movement, emergency call, and fire extinguisher.
G'VAL systems allow the visualization of the data created by this simulation system based on scenario using SCADA and UC-win/Road.
The scenario includes the slow-speed vehicle, broken vehicle, accident, smoke, obstacle such as burden and wheel, rescue team and workers, patrol car, police, and walking animals.
Mr. Marsaud commented "It has been just seven months since I started to use UC-win/Road, but I like the system linkage function with other system using system development kit. It is very ideal software for me." "For people's evacuation simulation, I think to use the crowd analysis software "EXODUS" in the future."
The scope of this G'VAL system which is introduced this time can be thought to include a wider range of fields including train tunnel, road network in the urban area as well as road tunnel.
For example, the traffic administrator in the urban area can use it for the training of traffic signal control and lane closure so that the traffic congestion is reduced. According to BMIA, G'VAL system is the first training system using virtual reality in the world.
Therefore, there is the expectation of this system from US where people are suffering from the traffic congestion.
Brendan P Hafferty, general manager of FORUM8 western office in UK and Yoann Pencreach, FORUM8 VR development technical manager in Miyazaki office have contributed to the development of this system through the technical support and the provision of the related information.
Mr. Marsaud was satisfied as he could obtain the effective information available for the development of new product through the FORUM8's support and network provided by the installation of UC-win/Road.
As for the request of the enhancement of UC-win/Road, he requested that the number of places to be recorded would be increased so that the movie from many monitoring camera can be recorded.
The cooperative relationship with BMIA would be very important for FORUM8. Through the development of the world's first training system for the tunnel administrator and road administrator using virtual reality, we will be able to know what kind of product the end users need, and apply this information for the development of products with the latest market trend.
(Interviewed/written by Ryuta Ieiri)