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After a two-year review process by top-level experts, peer agencies, and academics, a Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) regional computer model has been recommended as the official model of record as matching or exceeding current state-of-the-practice.
October 14, 2020

MAG “Digital Twin” Recommended as Official Regional Model of Record

Leading industry experts, peer agencies unanimously recommend MAG Activity Based Model

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Kelly Taft, MAG, 602-452-5020

PHOENIX (October 14, 2020)—After a two-year review process by top-level experts, peer agencies, and academics, a Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) regional computer model has been recommended as the official model of record as matching or exceeding current state-of-the-practice. The new model represents the next generation of regional transportation models. It includes innovative approaches for transportation analysis and forecasting that may be unique in the world.

The review confirms that MAG’s models continue to provide valuable contributions to the planning and analytical activities conducted in this region and in the transportation field in general.

Regional models of record are used across the country for development of regional transportation plans, planning and design of major infrastructure projects, and scenario testing of transportation policies.

The Activity Based Model also is known as a “digital twin,” meaning it can simulate detailed real world conditions. To see how conditions change under various travel behaviors, the model takes the entire regional population and simulates minute-by-minute activities and travel of individual people and vehicles, including complex interactions between household members, special events, and numerous other socioeconomic and travel phenomena.

“The model can predict outcomes of planning and policy scenarios depending on provided assumptions and data,” said MAG Transportation Technologies and Services Director Vladimir Livshits. “We can use these simulations to learn more about how regional travel changes in different situations, such as the introduction of autonomous vehicles, COVID-19 and teleworking.”

The review process included a peer review panel, advisory panel, and observers team. Reviewers included top level modeling experts from MAG peer agencies, leading field academics, world renown consultants, federal agencies, ADOT, and Valley Metro. The peer review panel unanimously agreed that the model is ready to be accepted by MAG as the official regional model of record.

“MAG models are something unique to our agency,” said Dr. Livshits. “The full spectrum of the MAG digital twin capabilities is unmatched not only in our state, but nationwide and worldwide.”

Based on the recommendation, MAG intends to transition to the new model in 2021.

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About MAG

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is a Council of Governments (COG) that serves as the regional planning agency for the metropolitan Phoenix area.

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