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"Simulation of Urban MObility" (SUMO) is an open source, highly portable, microscopic road traffic simulation package designed to handle large road networks. It is mainly developed by employees of the Institute of Transportation Systems at the German Aerospace Center. SUMO is licensed under the GPL.



History of SUMO

The development of "Simulation of Urban MObility", or "SUMO" for short, started in the year 2000. The major reason for the development of an open source, microscopic road traffic simulation package was to support the traffic research community with a tool, into which their own algorithms could be implemented and evaluated, without the need to regard all the artifacts needed to obtain a complete traffic simulation, such as implementing and/or setting up methods for dealing with road networks, demand, and traffic controls. By supplying such a tool, the DLR wanted to

  • i) make the implemented algorithms more comparable, as a common architecture and model base is used, and
  • ii) gain additional help from other contributors.

Since 2001, with the first running version, SUMO has been used within a large number of projects done within the DLR. The main application was to implement and evaluate traffic management methods, such as new traffic light systems or new traffic guidance approaches. Additionally, SUMO was used for short-term (30min) traffic forecast during large events with many participants, and was used for evaluating traffic surveillance using GSM networks.

Since 2002, SUMO is also in use at other institutions. Here, the major interest seems to be the evaluation of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. Two major third-party projects should be mentioned in this context,

  • The First, TraCI, is an extension of SUMO by the possibility to communicate with external applications, done at the University of Lübeck by Axel Wegener.
  • The Second project with a high impact is "TraNS", a direct coupling between SUMO and the network simulator ns2 which uses TraCI for communication and that was set up by Michal Piorkowski and Maxim Raya at the EPFL Lausanne.


  • Complete workflow (network and routes import, DUA, simulation)
  • Simulation
    • Collision free vehicle movement
    • Different vehicle types
    • Multi-lane streets with lane changing
    • Junction-based right-of-way rules
    • Hierarchy of junction types
    • A fast openGL graphical user interface
    • Manages networks with several 10.000 edges (streets)
    • Fast execution speed (up to 100.000 vehicle updates/s on a 1GHz machine)
    • Interoperability with other application on run time using TraCI
    • Network-wide, edge-based, vehicle-based, and detector-based outputs
  • Network
    • Many network formats (VISUM, Vissim, Shapefiles, OSM, Tiger, RoboCup, XML-Descriptions) may be imported
    • Missing values are determined via heuristics
  • Routing
    • Microscopic routes - each vehicle has an own one
    • Dynamic User Assignment
  • High portability
    • Only standard c++ and portable libraries are used
    • Packages for Windows main Linux distributions exist
  • High interoperability through usage of XML-data only

Included Applications

SUMO is not only the name of the simulation application, but also the name of the complete software package which includes several applications needed for preparing the simulation. The package includes:

Application Name Short Description
SUMO The microscopic simulation with no visualization; command line application
GUISIM The microscopic simulation with a graphical user interface
NETCONVERT Network importer and generator; reads road networks from different formats and converts them into the SUMO-format
NETGEN Generates abstract networks for the SUMO-simulation
DUAROUTER Computes fastest routes through the network, importing different types of demand description. Performs the DUA
JTRROUTER Computes routes using junction turning percentages
DFROUTER Computes routes from induction loop measurements
OD2TRIPS Decomposes O/D-matrices into single vehicle trips
POLYCONVERT Imports points of interest and polygons from different formats and translates them into a description that may be visualized by GUISIM
Additional Tools There are some tasks for which writing a large application is not necessary. Several solutions for different problems may be covered by these tools.


Installing SUMO

  • Installing to use the software
  • Installing to extend the software

Contributors and Content Editors

Gyan, Minal