PTV Group celebrates 30th anniversary of the PTV Vissim traffic simulation software

  • Multimodal simulation of traffic with sophisticated mobility model
  • Improved traffic flow in more than 120 countries
  • Impressive visualization and flexible integration into external software solutions
  • Accompanying campaign on social media

PTV Vissim: illustration of the current version.


Karlsruhe, Germany, 08/16/2023. The PTV Group – part of Umovity – is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the world's leading traffic simulation software PTV Vissim in 2023. This completely integrated simulation of all road users has already contributed to improved traffic flow and lower emissions in more than 120 countries. The software considers both regional and cultural differences in mobility behavior.  In addition to offering a wide range of control options for traffic signals, this solution excels in accurately modeling various traffic scenarios. Its flexibility and ability to go beyond standard applications make it a must-have for today's traffic and mobility planning. This solution seamlessly integrates into existing systems, serving a variety of transportation needs, from multi-modal traffic to emerging public transport systems like urban cable cars, and even accommodating automated and connected driving. The solution's developers are marking its anniversary with a social media campaign that includes their perspectives from the initial stages and more.

Multimodal traffic simulation

The world's leading traffic simulation software PTV Vissim maps traffic digitally – including all road users, from pedestrians and cyclists to cars and public transport vehicles. Transport planners and engineers use the software to demonstrate the performance of traffic systems via simulation, to improve it, and compare alternatives – before expensive construction is undertaken. The results provide a comprehensive and clear foundation for making planning decisions based on metrics and analyses. This way, it is possible to approach traffic problems such as traffic jams and the reduction of emissions proactively.

Traffic simulation in flux

The core of the basic solution developed in 1993 was a visualization under Windows 3.1. It could be used to simulate vehicles of different types reacting to each other and to traffic lights. With the system, early users could optimize signal controls, examine intersection layouts, arrange priority of public transport, and see the effects of these measures right on the screen. This allowed them to find optimal solutions right from the start. Today, the software includes multimodal traffic flow simulation with a high degree of detail, including the simulation of autonomous, networked vehicles, all in an appealing 3D visualization. A multitude of analysis options and open interfaces allows flexible deployment to answer all conceivable questions relating to mobility. Analyses of mobility of individual road users are of critical significance precisely for achieving climate goals.

Outstanding application cases

Matthias Pfriem, Senior Product Manager, PTV Group – part of Umovity – describes two outstanding application cases: "Of course our Vissim team especially remembers the optimization of transport planning for Transport for London for the Olympic Games in 2012. The big challenge was to make such an extensive sporting event possible in the “giant organism” of the city. We were very proud that we could make a significant contribution to the smooth operation. The topic of crowd management is also exciting. With Vissim and Viswalk, which is specially calibrated for streams of people, we helped the organizers of the mega-event ‘Das Fest’ in Karlsruhe several times. Fundamentally," Priem explains, "you shouldn't even be aware of our background contribution to traffic planning. Everything operates as intended in reality due to the testing conducted in simulations."

A real contribution to sustainable transport

“We are rightly proud of the development of this software solution and its extensive usages in cities and communities, but also in research and teaching in the last three decades,” says Christian U. Haas, CEO of the PTV Group – part of Umovity. “All of us, not just our customers, will profit from improved traffic flows and reduced emissions, as will our environment.” More than 16,500 users and countless investments in the infrastructure thus contribute to a balanced mobility ecosystem around the world.

The current version of the simulation software includes precise emissions calculations created by Bosch and makes the effects of transport measures on emissions visible right away.

Accompanying actions for the anniversary

As an accompanying campaign with special personal contributions, long-time PTV developers and product managers are sharing their own history of the software through pictures and the limited Vissim t-shirt on social media using the hashtag “#Vissim30years.”

We will be glad to present the history of PTV Vissim and the solution's special features at a personal appointment. To make an appointment, contact Ira Steinhoff ( or visit our website for additional information and a demo download.

Background information

The history of PTV Vissim in a nutshell:

Something that began at the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Karlsruhe soon became a global success model. With the concept of building blocks of the road network developed by Dr.-Ing. Hans Hubschneider, one of the founding members of PTV in his 1983 dissertation, the cornerstone was laid for the simulation tool. The PC implementation of transport simulation made the commercial application outside of the university more interesting: With the graphic user interface on the Windows platform, the PTV Group published the official VISSIM 1.00 in 1993.


Pers contact
Ira Steinhoff

Ira Steinhoff

Telefoon: +49 (0)721/96 51-433

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PTV Group hanteert een holistische benadering die alle aspecten van verkeer, vervoer en logistiek integreert om duurzame mobiliteit te creëren en te bevorderen. De PTV Group biedt software-oplossingen en consultancy om transport & mobiliteit te versterken voor een schonere en slimmere toekomst. De ‘best-in-class’ software voor intelligente verkeersmanagement en transportoptimalisatie maakt het besluitvormers in de politiek, steden, industrie en handel mogelijk om tijd en geld te besparen, de wegen veiliger te maken en het milieu te beschermen. De software van PTV simuleert en visualiseert vandaag hoe de mobiliteit van morgen met al zijn ecosystemen en dimensies kan worden gerealiseerd - van strategische verkeersplanning tot micromobiliteit voor de first- en last-mile.

Het bedrijf werd in 1979 opgericht. Vandaag de dag werken ongeveer 900 medewerkers wereldwijd aan toekomstgerichte oplossingen om intelligente en milieuvriendelijke transport & mobiliteit voor iedereen te creëren.