PTV Vissim FAQs

Basic FAQ



The dialog 'License Management' shows a warning:
'No CodeMeter stick found'



Starting PTV Vissim equiped with a Student/Thesis license fails with an error message:

- 'The selected license (server: box: 2-3026563, license number: 4634) cannot be used, since the related CodeMeter stick is not available.'
- 'The selected license cannot be used, since the related CodeMeter stick is not available.'

1) Open Windows Explorer.
2) Navigate to %appdata%\PTV Vision\
3) Open your PTV Vissim version folder (e.g. …\PTV Vissim 11\).
4) Delete the file ''.
5) Start PTV Vissim again.


  Dynamic assignment


Is the cost of a route dependent only on travel time?

A generalized cost function is used instead of merely travel time. The link cost is the weighted sum of travel time, distance and link specific costs. The user has control over the weights that are used for each particular vehicle type.



How can I view or edit the routes created by using Dynamic Assignment?

1.Open the network and select 'Parking lot' from the toolbar.
2.Choose 'Edit - Auto Route Selection...' from the menu.
3.Select the desired zone combination. All routes found so far are shown in the list.
4.Choose an item in the list box to show the corresponding route in the network.



After a simulation run I get warnings that some paths could not be found. Does it mean that during the simulation not all vehicles were placed in the network?

'If the message looks like this:
''No path from parking lot 23 to parking lot 1594 can be used because of the following connector closures: 11880, for the following vehicle types: 100''
it is just a warning. It does not mean that vehicles are not placed into the network unless there is another message which states:
''No parking lot found from zone 19 with at least one path to destination zone 14. Vehicles of type 100 from the matrix 1 could not be placed in the network.'''



Before running a simulation I get a warning message that the abstract graph in the path file is not identical with the current one. What does it mean?

If you have modified your Vissim network and still want to continue to use an old path file, the option ''Check Edges'' in the Dynamic Assignment window must be enabled.
Then the following errors might occur:

'The abstract graph (edge structure) in file *.WEG isn't identical with the current one. Error messages are written to the Messages window.'
'Old abstract graph in *.WEG: The edge 726 cannot be mapped to any edge in the current network graph.'
'One or more paths in file *.WEG are not used anymore. Error messages are written to the Messages window.'

'No edge turn in the node 10 from node 9 to node 14 could be found.'

Either one of these errors means that the old structure (of the path file) cannot be safely matched with the modified Vissim network. You either need to modify your network or you need to delete the path file and let Vissim build a new one.



What is the unit of the generalized cost function? How can I determine the coefficients correctly?

There is no implicit unit for the generalized cost, so you can freely choose it. You only need to consider that travel time is measured in seconds, distance is measured in meters and that the link cost has no implicit unit. So you need to choose the coefficients both as a weight and conversion factor to convert from one unit to your chosen unit.

Example: You choose $ as cost unit.
Now you need to determine the worth of one second of travel time in $ and also the worth of 1 meter in $ (if you want to include the distance in your calculation).
If you use any link cost, you would define these as cost in $.



Are matrix development tools available?

There is a matrix correction tool in PTV Vissim, please see the PTV Vissim manual for more information ('Correcting demand matrices'). It is also possible to link up with Visum which provides sophisticated handling of matrices and traffic demand.



I have several cases where zones need to load at two different parking lots (zone connectors). How can I do that?

You may assign the same zone number to more than one parking lot and set the proportion factor within each one of them.



Why are some of the trips of the OD matrix not assigned?

Please check the following points:

> Is the evaluation period long enough to catch all of them? If the simulation runs for e.g. 3600 seconds and you do aggregate at the end of the same period, there will almost certainly be vehicles not yet arrived at their destination parking lot.

> Are there errors in the network topology reported to the messages file? You might find out that some vehicles cannot reach their destination because there aren't any possible routes between their origin and their destination.

> Make sure that after a modification to the network topology you delete the *.BEW and *.WEG files before running the simulation again.



Does the OD matrix have to be square?

Yes. Each origin and destination is a place, and you can go to or come from any of these places.



I have a simulation period about 24 hours (86400 seconds), after 4 hours no more vehicles will be generated.

The problem occurs because for traffic from matrices it is required that the destination parking lot at the time of departure has still open for the whole simulation period (not only for the remaining simulation period). That means a opening time of 99.999 seconds is not enough for a simulation period of 86.400 simulation seconds from a departure time 13599,1.

Please define a opening time of 999.999 for all parking lots, then it will work.


  Import and Export


Can Vissim model SCOOT® or SCATS®?

You need to have a SCATS®/SCOOT® system running on your computer (this is independent of Vissim and is not distributed by PTV).
For SCATS®, several files incl. WinTraff and ScatSim are needed from the 'Roads and Traffic Authority' NSW, Australia.



When using COM from Microsoft® Excel® to start a Vissim simulation, I get the following message at the end: 'Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action.'. How can I avoid this message?

This warning message originates from Excel® and may come up, if the command 'RunContinuous' is used. Choose one of the following solutions to avoid this message:

Use 'RunSingleStep' instead of 'RunContinuous' in the following way:
for i = 0 to simulation.Period * simulation.Resolution simulation.RunSingleStep DoEvents
next i
Switch off all Excel® warnings using the VBA command:
Application.DisplayAlerts = False
Use a different programming environment.



Some Vissim dialog boxes do not have the right size or position. How can I reset this to the default?

All window sizes and positions are stored in the registry. To reset Vissim to the default values, call VDiagGUI.exe (in the same directory as Vissim.exe), select the 'Actions' tab and click 'Reset windows positions'.



ANM Import

When using ANM adaptive, random links split to form a small connector and link.

When an intersection is changed, it is necessary to update its geometry. Vissim needs to find a location where the new part of the network is connected to the old part of the network. Therefore, Vissim cuts the links between the new intersection and the old ones very close to the old intersections. This is not random; Vissim tries to save as much of the old network as is possible. For example, items located on the edges next to the updated intersection will generally be restored.


  Network editor


How do I model right turn on red?

Please refer to the PTV Vissim help > 'Creating and editing a network' > 'Modeling right-of-way without SC' > 'Modeling stop signs and toll counters' > 'Using stop signs for right turning vehicles even if red'.



Can Vissim model yellow boxes and keep-clear-areas? Is it possible to add the yellow box to the drawing?

Yellow boxes can be modeled using conflict areas or priority rules. For details on priority rules please refer to the PTV Vissim help > 'Creating and editing a network' > 'Modeling right-of-way without SC' > 'Modeling priority rules' > 'Examples of priority rules' > 'Priority rule Example 2: Avoiding tailbacks at a junction'.

Visualization of the yellow box can be done if you include it in a background graphics file. You can also load multiple background files simultaneously.



How do I enter text (e.g. street names) in the Vissim network?

Vissim network elements allow for a label to be entered. You can display these labels selectively using the 'Network Elements' window. Street names could be entered e.g. as link label. In 'Label Mode' any labels of the currently selected network element can be moved to a different location.



Is it possible to model toll gates?

Yes, by using stop signs with an optional time distribution.



Is there any specific provision or limitation for motorways?

Vissim has separate models for urban traffic and for motorways (car following models - Wiedemann 74 and Wiedemann 99). Motorway junctions can be modelled using the standard network elements. Merging areas have been tested and proved against HCM standards.



How are merging areas modelled?

A merging area should be modelled as a single link with as many lanes as the main road plus the merging lane(s). Make sure to only use a single connector at the end of a merging area to connect with the remaining lanes.
On motorways, use the 'free lane change' option for the links involved in order to increase capacity.



Can Vissim model reverse movements e.g. for car parks?

Yes, since PTV Vissim 10, vehicles are able to reverse out of parking lots. Please see the examples in '..\Examples Training\COM\Car Park Display.VBS' and the PTV Vissim help for more information.



Is it possible to model overtaking into oncoming traffic lanes, e.g. for a rural single-lane carriageway?

Yes, it is possible to model overtaking into oncoming traffic lanes. Please have a look to the example: '..\Examples Training\Overtaking In The Opposing Lane\Interurban' and the PTV Vissim Help.



What is the maximum size of a network that Vissim can handle?

The largest Vissim license has no built-in limit. Therefore the network size is limited only by computer resources. Apart from the hardware, the major factors that determine the simulation speed are number of vehicles simultaneously in the network, number of signal controls and number of possible paths (Dynamic Assignment).



How can I find out more about the specifics of gap acceptance?

Since gap acceptance can vary from location to location, this variable is considered an 'engineering input', meaning the modeler should use engineering knowledge or location-specific field data when setting up priority rules.



How many different types of vehicles/drivers can be modeled?

Vissim uses vehicle-driver-units. There are practically no limits on the number of vehicle and driver types. By default, the vehicle types Car, HGV, Bus, Tram, Pedestrian and Bike are included. Along with all their default specifications VISSIM provides a quick project start.



In Vissim 5.40, you could view all static routes that used any particular link or connector; however, I'm struggling to find the same function in Vissim 7. Is this still possible?

Yes, the function is still available. Open the Links list and choose the relation 'Static vehicle routes'. The synchronization button has to be active. In the list on the left side, you can select a link and in the list on the right side you can see which routes lead via the selected link.



How are bus lines and stops modelled? Are bus detection, signals and priority measures modelled?

Public transport is modelled as trams and/or buses in high detail with fixed routes. Stops and timetables are modelled as well. Waiting times at stops depend on the timetable and on a user defined random distribution for the passenger interchange times. Optionally the dwell time calculation method can be chosen which uses real passenger flows to determine waiting times. Priority on signal control junctions can be modelled completely with detection and control logic using a vehicle actuated signal controller.



Can a vehicle get a new static route if it still has a route assigned?

No, a new static route will be considered by a vehicle only if the existing one has been completed (the green bar passed). However, partial, parking lot and managed lane routes are considered by vehicles traveling on a static route.



How are banned movements specified?

When using static routes, a movement is banned if there is no route assigned to that movement (if routes do exist for at least one other movement). Routes are dependent on vehicle classes thus allowing banned turns for a certain class only.
When using Dynamic Assignment, connectors may be closed to certain vehicle classes.



Is there a way to avoid vehicle lane changing immediately in front of stop lines (signals/priority rules)?

Yes. For a short section (e.g. 20m) in front of the stop lines, apply the 'No lane change...' flag in the link/connector attributes to all lanes and all vehicle classes (you may need to split a link in order to get a suitable section).
Caution: A gridlock situation may appear in that section as no lane changes are possible - not even necessary lane changes because of a route.



In VISSIM is there a way to reverse placing a VISSIM project under scenario management?

Open a scenario, go to File – Scenario Management – Project Structure…., tab “Scenarios”, choose one and press the button “export selected scenarios” (disk with the red arrow). After it you will have the network without the scenario management.



In a project under scenario management, I have two data files: *.inpx and *.vissimpdb. Which data file should I use to open the project?

It doesn't matter which file you use to open the project. The *.inpx file contains the base network and a reference to the *.vissimpdb file. The *.vissimpdb file is binary coded and contains all data (modifications,...) from the scenario management.



I have high-speed trains in my network that are slowing down but not stopping at the station. Then the trains disappear at the end of the link. Why is this happening and how do I fix it?

The train cannot stop because its deceleration capability is limited and thus it needs a longer look-ahead distance than normal traffic to see the stop in time. If it is unable to stop in time, it leaves its route and the train is removed from the network (this event is logged in messages).
To fix this, in the driving behavior parameters used for the train, increase the maximum look-ahead distance.



What are typical times to create a network?

For a network with three simple, 4-leg junctions the geometric model will be finished within a few hours. Coding an existing signal control depends heavily on the control logic: A few minutes for a fixed time control, several hours for modeling a complex vehicle-actuated control with public transport priority.



Can platooning effects be modelled?

Yes, it is possible.

Definition one: group of cars (known as a 'platoon') the size of which is defined by the signal times.
These platooning effects can be generated by:
- modelling the adjacent junctions (platoons formed by signals)
- lengthening incoming links (platoons formed by car-following and different desired speeds).

Definition two: Grouping vehicles into platoons is a method of increasing the capacity of roads. An automated highway system is a proposed technology for doing this.
This ca be simulated using scripts, see the example Platooning.inpx in ...Examples Training\Autonomous Vehicles (AV)\Platooning.COM (since Vissim 9). In the future PTV Vissim version also integrated funcionality may be inplemented (without the need for scripts).



I have a situation where HGVs disappear from the network after 60 seconds of waiting time for lane change to turn left. Other vehicles would let them in, but they don't change lanes. Why?

Check if the lane where the HGV wants to change to, is closed to HGVs (button 'Lane Closure...' in the link/connector window) or if the lane change to this lane is banned for HGV (button 'No lane change...' in the link/connector window).



How can I model an incident where one or more lanes are blocked?

The recommended option is included in the standard Vissim installation at '..\Examples\Training\SpecialModeling\Incident'. The following technique is used:

1.Create a mini connector (ca. 1m long) inside the same link connecting all lanes that are still available during the incident.

2.Create a partial routing decision that includes the newly created connector and define it for the time period where the incident should occur.

3.In addition, if you want to model the incident vehicle, create a parking lot on the blocked lane.

4.Make sure that the routing decision for the parking lot is only active as long as needed to let one vehicle park.

5.Assign a dwell time to the parking lot that matches with the time period of the partial route.

This method reflects the most fluent lane changing behavior.
Please note that this modeling technique is not possible in combination with Dynamic Assignment.



How is the route choice determined and updated during each run?

Route choice can be determined by the user (static routing) or computed by iterated micro-simulation using the optional Dynamic Assignment module. Routes can also be imported from the travel demand modelling software tool Visum.



Is it possible to model roads below the surface?

If you define a negative height to a link, the link will be displayed below the 0-plain and thus is not visible in 3D mode initially. However, vehicles will still travel on such a link and you can look below the 0-plain in 3D mode. You can also shift the entire network (excluding background files) to a different height using the z direction in 'Edit - Translate Network'.

From Vissim 6.00 it is also possible using levels



Is it possible to model features such as blocking back, shock waves, local knowledge by some drivers (using rat runs), lane drop and gain, variable message sign (VMS) etc. in Vissim?

Since the model is microscopic, shock waves and blocking back are modelled inherently.
Local knowledge can be modelled in Dynamic Assignment by defining different vehicle classes and allowing rat runs only for these classes.
Lane drops and gains can be modelled easily using the link parameters.
VMS and other types of traffic control can be modeled using the VAP or COM interfaces.

See also the '..\Examples' directory on your standard VISSIM installation for examples on these topics.



Is it possible to model junction types such as signal-controlled intersections, roundabouts, priority junctions or merges in Vissim?

Any junction geometry can be modeled (signal-controlled intersections, priority junctions, merges including any type of roundabout) in Vissim.
The basic element of Vissim networks is a link (stretch of road) with one or more lanes. Links can be modeled exactly according to the geometry of the real junction with a precision down to one millimeter. Based on the link structure, network elements such as signal heads, conflict areas, priority rules etc. can be defined.



Some conflict areas appear to operate with different priority than that as coded. Yielding vehicles appear to take priority. Why is this and how can I avoid this?

In order for a vehicle to react in a conflict area it has to see the end of the conflict area.

- Raise the attribute value 'Observed vehicles in front': Base Data > Driving Behaviors.
For long conflict areas it may happen that the defined number of 'Observed vehicles in front' is too low to accomodate for all vehicles (the conflict area is internally counted as vehicle as well).
- Raise the attribute value 'Look ahead distance (minimum)': Base Data > Driving Behaviors.
This ensures that vehicles see the end of the conflict area, independently of the number of 'Observed vehicles in front'. We recommend to apply this driving behavior only to those links/connectors where it is required in order to keep the simulation speed as fast as possible.
- Use the network object 'Priority Rules'.
Conflict areas seem sometimes being ignored by vehicles, e.g. because other vehicles keep waiting because of another Conflict area. With a Priority Rule you can model to keep an intersection clear.
(Re.f: Manual It is better to use conflict areas than priority rules to model driving behavior.)



How can I model parking in Vissim?

These are the options for the use of the network element Parking Lot:

1. For the use of static routes:
Modelling roadside parking and pick-up/drop-off lanes.
Any orientation, e.g parallel, diagonal and perpendicular parking lots can be modelled.

2. For Dynamic Assignment:
Modelling origins and destinations of trips. A Logit-based parking lot choice model is implemented in Vissim. Details can be found in the Vissim user manual.



How does Vissim handle grade-separated junctions?

Even if you draw links crossing each other, the program will not recognize this as an intersection unless you model connectors or any type of junction control (signal control, conflict areas and/or priority rules).

For 3D mode you may enter a height value to any link/connector to show the different levels.



How can I determine vehicle positions in the coordinate systems 'WGS 1984' or 'Sphere Mercator'/Mercator (sphere)' or use background images meeting some well-defined coordinate system?

PTV Vissim does not use any map projection and does not take into account any map projection of background files. Instead, PTV Vissim uses an own local, metric coordinate system defining a flat surface.
PTV Vissim does neither provide any coordinate transformations, but since PTV Vissim 10 an example is provided, using formulas in User-Defined Attributes to determine coordinates in 'Sphere Mercator'/Mercator (sphere)':
c:\Users\Public\Documents\PTV Vision\PTV Vissim 10\Examples Training\Evaluation\WGS Coordinates.UDA

Any background files created in CAD or GIS systems should adopt this local coordinate system: Match the coordinate values of some central point in the network, for example a node or the Reference point: Base Data > Network Settings > Display > Background maps > Reference point in network

Regarding the use of background images, refer to the Manual: Loading image file as background image.

To change the coordinate system in AutoCAD Map 3D refer to:,topicNumber=d0e6120


  Vehicle simulation


Are there any default values supplied with Vissim?

Comprehensive default values are supplied for vehicle types and classes as well as for driving and lane change behavior. The parameters of motorized traffic originate from research work done by the University of Karlsruhe.



What is the purpose of the separate maximum acceleration chart if there is already a range for the desired acceleration?

The maximum acceleration/deceleration curves define the physical limits of a vehicle type. The desired acceleration/deceleration curves model the typical driver behavior.



If I need to run the same simulation iteratively, for instance in a showroom, how can I do it?

You can use a command line parameter as follows:

vissim.exe [filename.inp] -s10.

This will run the simulation of [filename.inp] 10 times from start to end.



Could you explain when and how the desired acceleration is applied?

The desired acceleration is the acceleration that the vehicle uses to reach its desired speed at free flow (i.e. not influenced by any other factors).



What are the algorithms that the model uses for vehicle following and lane change?

The model uses the psycho-physical car-following model developed by Wiedemann. It uses vehicle-driver-units that incorporate several stochastical variations. Thus there are virtually no two vehicles that have exactly the same driving behavior.
For lane change a related rule-based model is used that was originally designed by Sparmann.
Continuous development of both models ensures up-to-date driving behaviour in Vissim



Do I have to take into account any warm-up period prior to the actual simulation?

A simulation always starts with an empty network. Thus warm-up periods need to be included in order to get realistic results. This is done by enhancing the simulation period by the warm-up period and set the start of the simulation (time of day) earlier by the same amount of time. Make sure that all evaluations start after the warm-up period (by changing their start time).



What kind of distribution is used for vehicles entering the network?

A Poisson distribution is used for the times when a vehicle enters the network. The user can choose whether these arrival times will be determined entirely before simulation start (to allow for the exact amount of vehicles).




How can I measure the number of pedestrians on a ramp?

Please see the attribute 'additional level' for sections. Using it you can measure the number of pedestrians on a ramp.



Can Vissim illustrate passengers alighting/boarding trains or buses?

Yes, this is possible with the optional pedestrian module PTV Viswalk.

As an alternative (without the pedestrian module), Vissim can keep track of passenger flows for each transit line and stop (without visualizing them) in order to compute the dwell times of the train/bus at a stop for realistic public transport operation.



Is it possible to model pedestrian crossings?

Yes, any type of pedestrian crossing can be modelled, including zebra crossings, permitted flows (where turning vehicles need to yield to pedestrians) and signalized crossings.

See the '..\Examples\Training\SignalControl' directory on your standard VISSIM installation for examples on these topics.


  Signal control


What kind of possibilities are there in Vissim to model signal controller?

Fixed time signal control is included in the standard license. The add-on VISSIG provides additional functionality in the signal program editor beyond the VISSIM standard version. Models of several standard controllers for traffic actuated control are available as separate, independent products. Also available is VisVAP, a graphical flow chart tool to develop and edit an own vehicle actuated signal control logic including any type of special features (e.g. PT priority, railroad preemption, variable message signs on motorways etc.).



I would like to know how the coordination of signalized intersections is achieved in Vissim?

There are basically two options:

1. For a static offset you may 'shift' all timings of a signal control using the offset attribute in the 'Signal Controller' window.

2. For a variable offset in combination with vehicle actuated controllers you may link two or more controllers using 'Signal Control Communication'. You can link signal controllers which support communication with other control devices.
For additional information please check the Vissim manual 'Linking SC'.




How can I contact the customer support if I have a question or want to report an error?

You can reach PTV Software Vision Support following:
Use PTV Visum/Vissim and get this form preallocated with the environment values, like OS and license number:
Menu > '?' or 'Help' > (Technical) Support.

Please describe your request as accurately as possible, i.e. which steps lead to a crash. Any solution or workaround will be provided as soon as possible.

Maintenance customers are also supported on modelling issues and software handling.

Feel free to make suggestions for improvement and product development.



When I try to run a simulation, I get a message that a SIG file cannot be found. What can I do?

Fixed time signal controls are not stored in the INPX file directly but in a separate SIG file for each signal controller (apart from the file extension this is similar to all other types of signal controllers). Hence all SIG files referenced by an INPX file need to exist at the correct location.



I try to open the Vissim online help but I get only an empty window. Sometimes also an error message appears. How can I make it work again?

Most likely one of the following reasons causes the problem:

the online help is not stored on a local drive
the # character is used in the path of the Vissim installation

In both cases the online help will not function properly.

Problem (1) is caused by a Microsoft® security patch that blocks executing help files on remote drives. To overcome this problem the easiest way is to install Vissim locally or on a virtual machine. If this is not possible or not desired, system administrator find another solution in the Microsoft® knowledge base.

To overcome problem (2), Vissim needs to be installed in a path without using any # characters.



Where can I find the new features and differences between two VISSIM versions?

This information you can find in the release notes file that is contained in every Vissim installation and service pack in the \Doc\Eng folder. It can also be viewed on our setup website:



Are models built in earlier releases of Vissim compatible with later releases?

Yes, generally, models built in earlier releases of PTV Vissim can be read in later releases.

Network files created in VISSIM 5.40 or earlier have the extension *.inp, whereas those created in PTV Vissim 6 or later have the extension *.inpx.

*.inp files created in VISSIM 5.30 or earlier must first be saved in VISSIM 5.40-13 before they can be opened in PTV Vissim 6 or later versions.

We do not guarantee that the same results can be reproduced between different releases or even between different service packs.



Sometimes I get the error message 'Error while reading from virtual memory file' occurs. What can I do?

Please check if you have sufficient free space on your hard disk.



Which files do the support team need?

It depends on the issue. If you have problems to start Vissim we need different analysis files. If you have a request or a problem relating to your model or your results of it, we need all files of the model.

These are the analysis files we need:

Hotline Package:
We describe it for Vissim 10, but it is the same for other releases.
Start Vissim 10 from the command prompt as follows:
1. Start command prompt (Start > Run, enter cmd > ok)
2. Move to the Exe directory of the Vissim 10 installation (e.g. cd C:\Program Files\PTV Vision\PTV Vissim 10\Exe)
3. Enter the following command: vissim100 -o -flush
4. Reproduce the problem / crash
Then create a Hotline Package:
- Open the directory EXE\ of your Vissim installation.
- Start VDiagGUI.EXE by double click on the file name:
The window VDiagProGUI opens.
- Choose the tab 'Hotline Package'
- All diagnostics files should be selected
- Press the button 'Create'
- You will find the zip file 'Hotline Package' on your desktop
Please send this zip file to us.

CmDust report:
Start > Programs > Codemeter > Tools > CmDust.
This tool creates a file called CmDust-Result.log (the containing folder is opened automatically). In case of a network license we need file from client AND server.

Context file:
Taskbar > System tray > CodeMeter Control center > License > License Update > Next > Option 'Create license request' > Next > Option 'Extend existing license' > Next > Commit
Please refer to the following documents for any further instructions:
- Chap. 7.1 (Direct Support > 4) Creating a CmDust report
- Chap. 6.1 Creating a context file

Crash dump file:
- Open the task manager.
- Reproduce the crash.
- Leave all dialogs open.
- In the taskmanager, select the Visum process (tab 'Details' or 'Processes'), open the context menu and choose 'Create dump file':
- Pack the crash dump file into a zip archive. Please name the zip file following the used release and servicepack to enable us the analysis, e.g. 15.00-12.
- Upload the zip archive to a FTP/cloud space (request one in your support request if needed).



How can I update the Vissim Viewer version to the current service pack in order to pass it on to our customer?

Along with each service pack also a setup of the updated Vissim Viewer version is posted in the service pack download area ( This site also contains instructions on how to use the updated Viewer version.



Does VISSIM take advantage of multi-core processors and a multi-processor PC?

Yes, the multi-thread capability of VISSIM takes advantage of multi-core-/multi-processor computers if a large amount of vehicles is simulated. A multi-core-/multi-processor PC is also advisable if another application should run besides a VISSIM simulation run.



Some VISSIM dialog windows have a non suitable size or position. How can I reset to defaults?

All the window size and placement settings are stored in the registry. To restore Vissim to the default settings, goto Edit > User Preference and click the button 'Reset dialogue positions'.



My simulation runs very slow although there are less than 200 vehicles in the network.
Sometimes it also looks as if the simulation speed varies a lot during one simulation.
What could be the reason?

Check the following:
- Delete all speed distributions that are not used in the simulation (especially those with higher speeds).
- Check priority rule parameters. Avoid long gap times or headways in combination with multiple look-back paths.
- Multiple look-back paths can also be avoided by reducing the driving behavior parameter 'Look back distance' for all links/connectors where applicable (e.g. at parking lots where each space is modeled on an individual link - such as for diagonal or perpendicular parking).
- At roundabouts, reduce the amount of 'small' connectors (that are used for routing purposes).



Are models built in higher releases of PTV Vissim compatible to lower releases?

In general it is possible to open files in lower versions of PTV Vissim which were built in higher releases of PTV Vissim. But we do not support downward compatibility and we give no guarantee that files which were created in higher releases of PTV Vissim are also readable in lower releases.  
If you open the file in lower releases it is possible that there are some warning messages. You can read this messages in detail and try to change your file in the releases in which you built the model and afterwards try to open it in the lower release again but we give no support for it.
Generally unknown parts (developed for higher releases) will be ignored.




How can I display a timer or clock in the model or in a video showing the simlation time or the time of day?

Display time:
Network Editor > Edit basic graphic parameters > Show simulation time label
As time of day:
View > Simulation Time > Time of Day
Setup time:
Simulation > Parameters > Start time



When switching to 3D mode, the simulation becomes slow, even though I have a good graphics card. What can I do to get the best performance?

On computers with both an on-board graphics card and a dedicated graphics card, the graphics mode needs to be explicitely switched to the dedicated card for best Vissim performance. This can be done in the Nvidia Control Panel or AMD Catalyst Control Center, which can be accessed from the system tray in the Windows taskbar or from the advanced settings in the display settings from the Windows Control Panel.

If a computer has Nvidia Optimus, Vissim is usually executed by default on the on-board graphics. To assign Vissim to the dedicated graphics chip, the graphics settings need to be modified as above.



The background map service 'Bing Maps (Aerial View)' is not displayed.

Please follow the workarounds in the FAQ below:



What is the best video codec for recording AVI files?

We have experienced the best quality/size tradeoff with the x264 codec.

The video codecs are part of the operating system and hence Vissim has no influence over which codecs are available. Make sure to have the desired codec(s) installed on your computer before you start Vissim (you may use the links above to download the corresponding codec).

For successful playback, you need to ensure that the codec used for recording is also installed on the computer system where it is played back. For Windows 7, typically no additional installation is required for AVIs using the x264 codec.

Please note that for x264 there is a 32-bit and a 64-bit edition available. Choose the edition that complies with the application for recording/playback (e.g. x264 32-bit for Vissim 32-bit). If you are unsure, you may also install both editions.

As an alternative for playback, you may use a media player with built-in codecs such as VLC media player.

(Please note that using these codecs and other software is entirely at your own risk and outside the scope for Vissim support.)



Switching to 3D mode fails with an error message: '3D is not available for this window. Updating your graphic card driver might solve this problem.'

Update all your graphic card drivers manually. Windows often indicates that the the graphic card driver was updated automatically, but that does not always cover the latest, current version.

We recommend visiting the website of the manufacturer to download and install the latest driver.


Consider the use of a tool offered by the manufacturer to automatically detect and update the driver.

When this does not solve the issue, change the following setting in Vissim:
Edit > User Preferences > GUI > Graphics > 3D Mode > Graphics driver: Change 'OpenGL 3.0' to 'DirectX11'

For recommendations on which graphic cards to use:



Can Vissim use vector formats as background graphics?

Yes, among several bitmap formats (e.g. jpg, tif, bmp) also vector formats (e.g. wmf, dxf/dwg, shp, Mr. Sid) can be used for background graphics.

Please note that few vector formats currently are supported by the 32-bit version of Vissim only.



Why do I receive the error message VISSIM100.exe - Application Error when trying to start PTV Vissim 10?

If you are using PTV Vissim 10 in combination with the Windows 7 operating system, your graphics card driver could cause a crash during its startup, often resulting in the error message VISSIM100.exe - Application Error: The application was unable to start correctly (0x0000005). This issue has been fixed in PTV Vissim 10.00-07. In the release notes of this version, please search for ID 12843 for a detailed description of the patch.

To resolve this issue, upgrade to the latest service pack of PTV Vissim 10. The installation file for the latest service pack can be downloaded here:



The background map for the map service 'Bing Maps (aerophoto)' is not shown or a warning is displayed:
'The Bing Maps License is expired.'
The background map for the map service 'OpenStreetMap (Mapnik)' is working.

The PTV Group maintains a contract with Microsoft to use Bing maps as background map in PTV Visum, PTV Vissim, PTV Viswalk and PTV Vistro, from which customers with an active maintenance contract benefit.
If this applies to you, and your license in the dialog
Help > License > Bing Maps (until ...)
is listed as not activated, please contact
together with a screenshot of this dialog.

- If none of the background maps can be displayed, refer to:

- If you like to renew your maintenance contract, contact or your local distributor.

- If your maintenance contract was already renewed, activate the latest license ticket you received by e-mail from PTV through
Contact your license administrator in case you are not responsible for managing the licenses.



When I load a DWG file as background image in Vissim I don't get the desired layout. Why?

AutoCAD® DWG files allow to store multiple layouts within the same file. In Vissim always that layout is used which in AutoCAD® was actived last.



What can I do to reduce 3D AVI file size?

There are two potential solutions:

Video compression codec: Find a good balance between quality and file size using a current codec (see also FAQ

Vissim window size: Decrease the size of the Vissim application window to reduce the output size of the AVI video.



Is there a way to apply background images or objects in 3D mode?

Yes, any background graphics that are loaded in 2D are also visible in 3D. Static 3D objects in V3D format (Vissim 3D) may be placed anywhere in the network. From Vissim 5.20 onwards, it is also possible to place Sketchup® files (*.SKP) directly in 3D mode as static object (Vissim 32-bit editions only).

Several vehicle and static 3D models are included with the standard Vissim installation in V3D format. Many additional models in V3D format are available to download through our service area webpage (login required).

Customized models can be created/converted using V3DM (Vissim 3D Modeler - additional module, see also FAQ



Which graphics card has the best performance with Vissim 3D?

We recommend NVIDIA graphics cards since Vissim 10 DirectX can be used in addition to OpenGL. NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards with Fermi or Kepler architecture (400 or later, such as GeForce GTX 750) are sufficient. For desktop computers, the GeForce GTX1060, for example, is powerful and still relatively cheap. If certified drivers are required, cards from the Quadro series can of course also be used. The performance is similar to the graphics cards of the GeForce series. For notebooks, it is important that they have a dedicated graphics card, not just an on-board graphics card. To reiterate, we recommend graphics cards from NVIDIA as they have better drivers and can be switched on for an application like Vissim or Visum.

You should always use the latest graphic card driver. You can find the driver either on the website of the manufacturer of your computer or laptop or on the website of the graphic card manufacturer, examples:

Consider the use of a tool offered by the manufacturer to automatically detect and update the driver.



What is the purpose of V3DM? How can I include my own 3D models in the scene?

V3DM is short for 'Vissim 3D Modeler' and is an additional Vissim module to

- convert 3D objects from DWF, 3DS and SKP (Sketchup®) format to the Vissim V3D format
- create simple 3D objects (such as houses, simple vehicles etc.) including textures

If you would like to create more complex 3D objects you need professional 3D modeling tools such as 3ds Max. For including your own pedestrian models in Vissim, please check FAQ

In Vissim, static 3D objects (V3D format) can be inserted in 3D mode by right click.
Another option is to export Vissim data to 3ds Max in order to create a high-end presentation of the simulation entirely inside 3ds Max.



How can I integrate own pedestrian models in Vissim?

For this task you need an animated pedestrian model and V3DM. Follow the steps listed below:

Create a 3D pedestrian model in a professional 3D modeling application (such as Autodesk 3ds Max) that can be animated or moved.
Divide a flow of movement into 20 parts to export 20 different 3D models, each showing a different state of the model.
Export each state to a DWF file.
In addition to the other 20 states, export the model to a DWF file at standstill.
In V3DM you create a new project of the type 'vehicle'
Import the model in standstill position as state 0.
For each exported DWF file, create a new state within V3DM and import the associated DWF file.
After importing all 21 DWF files, assign the corresponding 'vehicle' properties: 4 different colors (shirt, hair, pants, shoes), positions of the front and rear axle.
Export the V3DM file to v3d format
Create a new 2D / 3D model distribution with the exported v3d format and map it to a pedestrian type.



The simulation seems to run much slower in 2D mode than before. What could be the reason?

The 2D visualization during a simulation run can be slow on Windows 7® if a desktop theme with Aero (translucent glass design) is selected. If a basic theme without Aero is selected (in Control Panel - Appearance and Personalization - Personalization - Theme), the 2D visualization can be up to 9 times faster.



Can I use Sketchup® files with Vissim?

Yes. You can import Sketchup® files as static 3D objects and (from PTV Vissim 10 onwards) also as vehicle models. You can find a large library of Sketchup® models incl. buildings and landmarks on the Internet.



Is there a quick way to find the delay(s) at any given intersection without inputting travel time measurements for each movement?

Yes, using the node evaluation. For further information please refer o the PTV Vissim online help > 'Performing evaluations' > 'Output options and results of individual evaluations' > 'Evaluating nodes'.




How could I choose to assign a travel time section in Vissim for particular vehicle classes?

The data will always collect for all vehicle types. If you will need the results for any specific vehicle class you have to select it seperate – Evaluation – Configuration – tab 'Result Attributes' – 'Additionally collect data for these classes'.



What is the effect of changing the random seed? Which seed is closest to 'real life'?

The random seed influences many aspects of the model. It merely changes the start values of the random value generators used internally in the model. These values influence the arrival times of vehicle in the network, the stochastical variability of their driving behavior and also selection of a certain distribution value wherever distributions are used (e.g. dwell times, speeds, colors etc.). There is no seed that replicates 'real life' better than another. It's more comparable to the daily changes of the traffic patterns at the same location.



I made two simulation runs of a saturated network with different random seeds and found that the results (e.g. queue length) vary quite a lot. Why does that happen?

In a saturated network, minor changes may lead to big consequences. For instance, due to a slight variation of green time, the number of vehicles passing through may be one vehicle less per cycle. This vehicle might be the critical one which leads to a queue that builds up continuously during the simulation whereas in the other case, the green time was just sufficient to accommodate the entire demand. These effects can also be seen on the field, where normal day-to-day changes may lead to different traffic situations.
A minor change (e.g. in lane change) can also lead to different results within the typical statistical boundaries. Generally speaking, a network which is not operating at capacity will react less to changes of the random seed.



Can I get the LOS (level of service) out of Vissim?

You can evaluate the LOS for intersections according to HCM within the Node evaluation.

You will find an example in our example folder: c:\Users\Public\Documents\PTV Vision\PTV Vissim 10\Examples Training\Evaluation\LOS With User-Defined Thresholds.UDA



How can the average speed of a car of a route be evaluated?

You can determine the mean speed by travel time measurement - dividing the length by the average travel time gives the average speed. However, this only works if only one shortest route is used from origin to destination.



Is it possible that Vissim produces different results on different computers?

Currently we are not aware of different results on different hardware. If you use exactly the same Vissim installation with the same simulation files on different computers and still get different results, please report these effects in detail to our technical support.



Is there a way to create an animation and show it without the hardware lock?

Yes. The Vissim Viewer can be used without a hardware lock. For more information please refer to the PTV Vissim help > 'Introduction' > 'Using PTV Vissim Viewer'. To update the Viewer to a new service pack, please check FAQ



The functions
Simulation > Save Snapshot
Simulation > Load Snapshot
are missing.

This feature is not available anymore.
Workaround: Rerun the simulation runs from the start, using multiple instances of PTV Vissim in parallel.



The measurement of Vehicle travel times results in a warning:
'Vehicle .. already passed start of travel time section .. at simulation time ..'

You receive this warning when a vehicle passes the start of a travel time measurement twice.
This can happen if you have intersection-by-intersection static routing and/or U-turns. Then it is probable (given the random assignment of turning movements) that some vehicles are routed around the block and pass the same travel time measurement twice. There is no way to prevent this behavior other than defining longer static routes through the network or using Dynamic assignment.



I selected 'Aggregated values - Speed' in the display settings, but the links are still not colored. Why?

The aggregated values are displayed only on links where 'Link Evaluation' is enabled. If you would like it to be enabled for the entire network, go to multi-select mode, select the entire network and enable 'Link Evaluation'.



What is the minimum number of runs for the simulation experiment to be considered statistically significant?

There is no general rule to this as it depends on the Vissim application:

- In a 10-km stretch of highway with low traffic volume simulated for one hour, travel times will be very stable and depend only on the distribution of desired speeds. Three to five runs should be sufficient.
- In an urban network consisting of some complex junctions with traffic actuated signal control, possibly including public transport priority, a lot of 'random' events influence the signal control (e.g. two trams approaching at the same time). In this case, more runs are needed to get a significant result, especially if one or more junctions operate close to capacity.

Formally, you have to estimate the variance coefficient of the measured value, e.g. travel time. You can do this by running the simulation several times with different seeds and computing the variance. Then you define a confidence level, say e.g. 5 %, and a tolerance interval for the result, say 10%. Then you need n simulation runs to be able to say, that 'with probability 95% the real mean value of travel times lies within the interval measured value +/- 10%.' n is given by the formula: n = t² * v² / e², where t is the value from the t-distribution for the given confidence level, v is the variance coefficient (standard deviation / mean) of the measured value, and e is the tolerance (in this example: 10%).


  COM and API


What is the syntax for the FilteredBy method in COM?

The syntax in Python is Vissim.Net.Vehicles.FilteredBy('[VehType\No]=100'). This example selects all vehicles of type 100.



The VBA COM line
Set Vissim = CreateObject('Vissim.Vissim.1000')
fails with the following error message:
'ActiveX component can't create object'.

1) Register PTV Vissim as COM server (try with administrator credentials):
Help > Register COM Server
2) Check the used class ID to meet the correct release and architecture:
c:\Users\Public\Documents\PTV Vision\PTV Vissim 10\Examples Training\COM\Basic Commands\COM Basic Commands.bas
3) Install the current service pack.
4) Use instead of late binding ('CreateObject') early binding ('Dim Vissim As New VISSIMLIB.Vissim') with a set reference to the VissimXXX.exe (Excel VBA editor: Extras > References)
Example test scripts:



A script started over COM has crashed with an error message:
'Could not start the script component'.

- Make sure Python27 is installed in C:\Python27 or C:\Program Files\Python27\ matching the architecture (32/64 bit) of PTV Vissim.
- Make sure this path is added to the Windows 'Environment Variables'.
- Make sure to install PyWin in the architecture (32/64 bit) matching the architecture of Python.
- Install the PTV Vision Python Setup from:
- Register PTV Vissim as COM server (try with administrator credentials): Help > Register COM Server
- Install the current service pack.
Reference: ch. 2: 'Executing Scripts from within Vissim' in:
c:\Program Files\PTV Vision\PTV Vissim 10\Doc\Eng\Vissim 10 - COM Intro.pdf




I am required to use an older service pack for a project. How can I downgrade PTV Vissim? And since another project requires the latest service pack, is there a way to quickly and easily switch between service packs of one release version?

In this case, we recommend installing a second standalone installation of the release version and then applying the desired service pack update to it.

Follow these steps:
1) Visit the PTV Vissim and PTV Viswalk Service Pack Download Area (
2) Click on the desired release version.
3) Click Download next to where 'PTV Vissim Setup' is listed in the Product column. (Depending on the release version, you can download files in an EXE or ZIP file format.)
4) With this downloaded file, install PTV Vissim as a second standalone installation.
5) Back on the PTV Vissim and PTV Viswalk Service Pack Download Area page, click Download next to the desired service pack.
6) With this downloaded file, install the service pack, making sure to select the correct installation.



Who provides support for the software?

PTV offers technical support for Vissim via a support form on the Internet or via Vissim menu Help / Technical Support. In several areas around the globe also our distributors provide hotline support.



What is the difference between a release version and a service pack, and where can I download them?

- Release versions are independent programs that can be updated with service packs.
- Service packs include new features and bugfixes. They can only be used to update the corresponding release version, which means that e.g. service pack 11.00-06 requires a base installation of PTV Vissim 11. The updates are cumulative, meaning that the latest service pack includes all earlier ones.

Installation setups for release versions and service pack updates can be found here:



I've installed Vissim on a server and placed the network dongle in one of the USB slots. When I try to run Vissim from any client, I get the error message 'Application could not be initialized.' What could be the problem?

Please check the following points:

- Is the necessary version of the Microsoft® .NET framework installed on all clients? (see Vissim installations manual for .NET Framework version information)
- Do the clients have write access to the Vissim/exe directory on the server?
- In the 'local intranet' settings of each client, is 'Full trust' activated? To find this setting, go to: Control Panel > 'Administrative Tools'
and select the Microsoft® .NET Framework Wizards. Choose:
Adjust .NET security > Change settings for this computer > Next > local intranet
and move the slider to 'full trust'. Confirm with: Next > Finish.



When trying to run Vissim, I get this message: 'This Vissim version has expired.' What do I have to do?

This message indicates that the expiry date of your Vissim version is reached (e.g. in a lease, demo or test version). If you feel that you get this message in error, please contact our customer service via e-mail at



Is there a Vissim demo version available?

Yes, you can apply for free trial versions on our homepage:



The VisVAP GUI is in the wrong language, how can I change it?

The language can only be changed by a new installation. Your VisVAP is in the wrong language, because this was selected during the installation of PTV Vissim.
We recommend installing PTV Vissim again using the current setup:



What are the hardware and software requirements for PTV Vissim?

In addition to the typical specifications of a common PC, these are the main requirements for the current PTV Vissim version:

Operating system:
Windows® 8/8.1/10, Windows Server 2012/2016, 64-bit processor

Processor (CPU): Core i7/i9 or equivalent Xeon processors (recommended)
Clock speed: min. 2 GHz (faster computer speed results in faster simulation speed)
Cores: 1 core (min.); 4 cores or more (recommended)
Memory (RAM): 4 GB (min.); 8-16 GB (recommended). For large networks containing many vehicles and/or pedestrians, more RAM may be necessary.
Hard disk space: Up to 2 GB depending on the installation settings
Hardware lock (dongle) protection: 1 USB port
Screen resolution: 1280x800 or 1366x768 pixels (min.); full HD (1920x1080 pixels) or higher resolutions (recommended)
Graphics card: For 3D Graphics OpenGL® support is recommended. PTV Vissim 11 also supports DirectX but not all functions.



Can PTV Visum/PTV Vissim be run on a virtual server or on cloud computing services using a virtual license server with a software dongle?