AI: Please Give an Update on the Work Being Done on Live AI Traffic

Hello, and thanks for another Q&A.

I’d like to see an update on the work being done on live AI traffic, especially on the following points.

  • Representing all traffic in FlightAware in the simulator. I seem to have seen a bit of an uptick (anecdotally) in the past month or so, but many, many flights are still missing and never appear in the sim.
  • Implementing real aircraft models and liveries visually and in ATC as promised a few months ago instead of the generics, which frankly are pretty immersion-breaking.
  • Handing off flights from live control to the AI when something unexpected happens, for instance, go-arounds. At the moment, when a go-around happens for the AI, it never tries to land anymore, and circles over the airport unrealistically until it disappears.
  • Approach behavior: There are many airports in which AI approaches too high and simply misses the approach (triggering the behavior mentioned above), or too low, crashing into terrain and disappearing.
  • Behavior on the ground: the AI will brake WAY too hard on landing and slow down way too quickly to the 20 knots taxiing speed on the runway, then leisurely taxiing to a taxiway sloooooooowly, often skipping one or more usable taxiways in the way. This results in runway vacation not happening timely and many more go-arounds for following aircraft than warranted. Realistic behavior would be much more gradual slowdown until reaching the taxiway and vacating, resulting in quicker runway vacation. On top of that, ATC control is way, way too conservative in handling different aircraft. Aircraft often won’t be allowed to enter a taxiway if there is another at the other end, which is not realistic. ATC should maintain proper separation for AI, but also use taxiways efficiently. The same goes for runways, which are also used too conservative. Working on this will make ground traffic more efficient and minimize AI and player go-arounds at busy airports.
  • Making parked aircraft actually match reality closely instead of being completely random. I guess the easiest way would simply be polling FlightAware for the X flights that have landed at the airport before the simulated time and spawn those at the gates (X being the number of flights needed to spawn according to the ground traffic settings). This may not be very visible now with the generics, but it certainly will be visible with add-ons that replace AI traffic with realistic models and liveries. Seeing Easyjets in Tokyo is… not ideal :joy:
  • AI Aircraft reach rotating speed way too quickly, using only a minimal part of the runway.
  • Work with modders that are already on it and providing the SDK tools to help. More examples on what some of them need can be found here. They can explain it a lot better than I can :smiley:

Happy to hear more points if anyone has any. I’m sure there’s plenty I have forgotten to mention :smiley:

To better explain what I mean with the landing behavior being problematic at the moment, here’s a visual example comparing real life to the simulator.

You’ll notice the AI aircraft slows down way, way too early, and then goes into “stroll in the countryside” mode until it reaches the taxiway it wants (instead of taking the closest), resulting in runway occupation that is roughly three times longer than it should be.

Also, no flare, which I forgot to mention above.

27 Likes

Ai aircraft will also abruptly disappear at certain times especially on landing. Great post!

2 Likes

im not holding my breath they fix AI traffic. Im looking forward to what AIG can do. It was amazing in P3D. Also Im a fan of BGL based traffic as the “Live Traffic” idea sounded good but if planes are just going to be disappearing and reappearing when their transponders are turned on/off then I will pass on that.

3 Likes

They also switch off NAV, Beacon lights (they are still visible, but only when you are very close to the AI plane) and Strobes immediately after touchdown. NAV, beacons and Strobes are visible only when the plane is in the air.

That’s certainly not an issue inherent to live traffic. There are already times in which control of live traffic is handed over to offline AI, which means that this can be addressed simply by doing the same when the transponder is turned off.

Live traffic is doubtlessly the option that has the most potential to simulate real-life (perhaps with offline AI integration for things not covered by live traffic, like military flights) if properly done. No matter how much people toil to update compiled flight plans, they never will be fully up to date nor they will account for delays, cancellations, and similar issues.

That being said, options are great, so it’s good that both solutions are offered.

3 Likes

You would be much better writing a couple of brief key concise questions rather than all those points. With all the other questions to ask as well it will be difficult to summarise this question and I expect the answer given by the devs will be to a different question then the one you are asking.

This has happened on every Q&A to date.

4 Likes

AI is not a brief and concise topic. The gist of the question is literally in the second line of the post which is most definitely brief and concise.

No one expects Jorg & Sebastian to answer everything point by point, but the rest is provided to give them an overview of what some of the sticking points are so that they can better frame the answer.

I trust that @Jummivana will be able to pose it correctly, and the devs will likely read the rest and give what information they can. The developers should definitely be provided the most-voted questions beforehand, so that they can prepare the answers instead of having quizzes on complex topics sprung on them Christmas surprise-like.

1 Like

I’m also a fan of bgl based offline ai traffic. Yes it might be harder to keep things up to date but the beauty of it is that it is customizable to anyhing you want. And it doesn’t require any bandwith.

1 Like

AIG or any other AI will essentially provide models and liveries; I doubt if they can influence the behaviour along the lines that has been mentioned in the first post like, vacating the runway, take off or landing distance etc. That will be Asobo, no?

3 Likes

And it allows you to fly at a different time with the correct traffic. I don’t know whether live traffic let’s you fly with busy day traffic while you are in the slow evening IRL? Or it allows you to fly in the busy summer while it’s actually winter IRL. :slight_smile:

My last sim was FS2004 with World of AI. They were able to edit these things so that traffic exited the runway asap (often the first exit) so that the ATC would be better at handling realistic amounts traffic. It was a good workaround back then. But now I’d prefer an update to the ATC. :slight_smile:

1 Like

This is certainly an advantage, but I don’t think it’s impossible to implement it for live AI. Flightaware keeps full records of past flights, so I doubt it’d be a massive problem to simply spawn “Live” AI traffic based on those records instead of the actual live data depending on the time set in the simulator. As a matter of fact, it’s probably going to be less finicky than current live AI.

Just because a feature isn’t available now, it doesn’t mean it’ll never be.

2 Likes

And please also talk about working with the freeware groups not just about your own work on models and liveries

1 Like

Oh and there is a mod called “FSLiveTraffic Liveries” coming up. Please tell us if you can work with this mod team more closely. It’s the only mod of this kind that is close to release.

1 Like

Please add AI models and liveries as you receive permission to use them. If you get permission from Airbus for the A320 family or from Boeing for the 767 family please add the models once they are finished. Then the liveries for the airlines that there are licenses for can be matched up to the correct planes as they become available. Hopefully with each update new AI models and/or liveries for live AI traffic can be added.

I feel like this is a better option than waiting until all models are finished and all licenses are obtained before releasing a complete live AI traffic solution.

Does anyone else prefer the developers to move forward in this manner?

I also would like the points in the first post of this thread to be addressed. Once a point is solved then it can be released to the community as a new issue is worked on.

3 Likes

They finally have to understand the importance of freeware AI traffic addons. They have given us the most realistic and up to date experience in all other sims so why would it be different here? I appreciate their efforts in making their own models and liveries but ultimately they don’t have the manpower to do every repaint in the world. Only a freeware network of painters can do that. The bottom line is we need better support for the 3rd party AI communities in the SDK. This is crucial and I’m hoping the developers recognize this at last.

4 Likes

Interesting case study about the perks of live traffic and a tidbit about its current shortcomings.

Today ANA flight 8549 from Chicago to Tokyo (a 777-300 ER) declared an emergency just after take-off due to vibrations affecting engine 1. The engine was dialed down to idle and the aircraft spent 50 minutes dumping fuel over lake Michigan before landing safely at KORD.

The positives:

  • The aircraft landed safely. Duh.
  • It actually appeared in the simulator, showing that live traffic can actually track things like emergency detours, alternates, and so forth, which offline flight plan-based traffic cannot.
  • The aircraft landed in the sim only 5 minutes after it did in real life, which is less of a delay compared to what I’m used to seeing.

The issues:

  • The runway was wrong. The real flight landed on 22L, while the sim had it at 27R. I wonder if there are ways for Asobo to detect or at least try to predict landing runways depending on the approach route?
  • It was a busy evening, so, while it’s nice to see so many aircraft in the air the runway and taxiway utilization issues mentioned above means that almost half of them were circling aimlessly above the airport (some buzzing the tower lol) after going around, with no hope of landing anymore. Guess flight 8549 was lucky even in the sim.
  • For some reason, the aircraft disappeared after landing (unlike others landing at the same airport at the same time) instead of taxiing to the gate.

1 Like

Hello! my converted tfs ai model TFS and FSPAI 332, and FSPAI 380 are sinking on ground. everything is working very well but their contact with floor. wheels are almost completely buried.
could someone help me? my FAIB converted models are perfect. thanks!

Do you consider that an issue? I’m glad the AI is able to accept a landing plane and put it in on a runway that fits the ingame conditions rather than forcing it to land on the real runway.

Whether it’s an actual issue or not is for the devs to decide depending on the level of fidelity they want to reach.

If aircraft landed and took off from the correct runway, operations would be more realistic. It isn’t a deal breaker to me for sure (on the other hand, aircraft having to go around all the time due to bad runway utilization kind of is), but there’s nothing that cannot be improved.

1 Like