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Pioneering software development in the cloud: computational model for tyre and road noise

Ard Kuijpers: "Calculations are a necessity for developing quieter roads. It is a complex task that usually needs to be outsourced with other companies. How can road builders, researchers and governments get hold of these calculations without having to use an external engineer? That was the question Rijkswaterstaat DVS asked various European companies in 2006. The end goal was an accessible and user friendly computational model. Together with Chalmers University in Sweden and our sister firm Müller-BBM, we convinced Rijkswaterstaat of a server/client application whereby a powerful server in the cloud performs tasks that are entered by, say, a researcher via his own computer. We won the contract and created the first computational programme for quieter roads in the cloud."

Make things easy for users

We didn't just want to create a model: we wanted to make it easier for road builders and researchers to make roads quieter. The computational programme had to be accessible for a large number of people. In 2006, the cloud wasn't quite as much in focus as it is today. We also wanted to use all the information that was already available about road types and so had to create a database with input data. We did everything to make things easier for the user.

SPERoN: the acoustic optimisation tool

We are proud of the end result: road builders, universities, consultancy firms and we ourselves use SPERoN to improve road noise production. Users process and view input data on their own computer, send an arithmetical instruction to the server and receive the results on their own computers. The valuable result data are protected so that they can only be accessed by the user. The tool also contains a database for the user to search for input data.

Agile development

We developed the software together with the client, so we stayed in contact and improved the software step by step. We met deadlines much easier, the client knew what to expect and we continued to improve.