American Truck Sim: US Traffic Lights

ATS Traffic Lights 6.jpg

A hot topic for any trucking fan - SCS Software have given some interesting insight into the big redesign of traffic signals in American Truck Simulator.


Ok, I'm being a little bit tongue-in-cheek when I suggested that traffic lights have much in the way of controversy in modern driving simulations, and I suppose a great number of readers have probably steered away from this article already, but I've started, so I'll finish...

Even given the potentially mundane nature of the topic in hand, I still thought it was pretty interesting reading to see the level of depth SCS Software have gone into when mapping out their road networks in ATS, and how something as potentially inconsequential as traffic lights can have such a big impact on the resources required to get it just right within the finished product.

So if you fancy a bit of a tale about the various types of traffic light signals in the United States, and how they are represented in American Truck Simulator, read on...

You probably noticed that during the last few patches, traffic lights in the American Truck Simulator have had some considerable tweaks. From last year June, our research department started work on this project, but there were a few issues we would need to overcome. One of the main problems was to find a system for US traffic lights in our game, as there are many differences found in every state, region, and cities. MUTCD defines the guidelines for the whole United States, but since every State can adjust it, you see where the problem lies. We agreed to make a compromise and choose those most commonly used (which means 50%+ coverage) to be made and implemented in our game.

ATS Traffic Lights 1.jpg
ATS Traffic Lights 2.jpg


An (un)expected result was that by mass replacement of the old lights, almost every junction and intersection in American Truck Simulator had broken. Lights colliding with other objects, signs and street name signs had also moved to pretty funny places... good times (especially for our map designers who had to fix this mess).

ATS Traffic Lights 3.jpg
ATS Traffic Lights 4.jpg


But in the end, we managed to overcome these issues and with update 1.35, every State (CA, NV, AZ, NM, OR and upcoming WA) will have real unique traffic lights. So that means you can now enjoy even more authentic roads, with more options now available for possible future additions, like the Flashing Yellow Arrow.

ATS Traffic Lights 5.jpg


Pretty cool stuff, and yet another little detail that SCS keep adding to their trucking simulations that further adds that all important immersion in what is a surprisingly addictive series of games...

American Truck Simulator and European Truck Simulator 2 are available to purchase for PC right now.

Like to go big rigging across the highways of the USA? Fancy sharing your experiences with your fellow community members and taking in all the latest news regarding both games? Well join up with our European Truck Sim 2 and American Truck Sim sub forums to get involved with the community today!

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

gergerger

50RPM
Oct 24, 2015
62
188
Traffic lights make me happy, I can tell you that. They completely ruined my GTA V experience, I can tell you that too.
 

R1Joel

100RPM
Aug 18, 2018
195
138
Why do those screenshots look way better than my game looks? Running everything on max
 
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P_Cote

25RPM
Oct 20, 2013
46
99
I'm I the only one hearing (in my head!) Monty Python's song "I like traffic lights"?
The worst song ever (deliberately made this way), played a lot in my old Integra on a tape deck long ago. Those were the days...
 

BP

1000RPM
Premium
Nov 1, 2016
1,355
1,364
Why do those screenshots look way better than my game looks? Running everything on max
Is your Scaling at 400%? This plus MLAA ON is usually the answer.

If you want the highest possible quality:
Set Texture Quality in Nvidia control panel (or Nvidia Inspector) and set to "High Quality". I don't know the equivalent setting for AMD cards.

In-game:
  • Set resolution to your monitor's native resolution
  • turn up Scaling to 400%
  • turn on everything and/or set everything to highest setting (Ultra or High).
 

R1Joel

100RPM
Aug 18, 2018
195
138
Is your Scaling at 400%? This plus MLAA ON is usually the answer.

If you want the highest possible quality:
Set Texture Quality in Nvidia control panel (or Nvidia Inspector) and set to "High Quality". I don't know the equivalent setting for AMD cards.

In-game:
  • Set resolution to your monitor's native resolution
  • turn up Scaling to 400%
  • turn on everything and/or set everything to highest setting (Ultra or High).
Thanks Brandon. When I fire ATS up again I'll do that.
 

RaceWasGood

250RPM
Premium
Dec 27, 2015
436
162
Why do those screenshots look way better than my game looks? Running everything on max
To maintain steady 60fps i have to settle for 200% scaling with a 3840x2160 monitor + GTX1080. My uderstanding is that it's recommended to choose either ingame scaling or other antialiasing techniques and not mix the two, but don't mark my words on that subject ;)

Furthermore if you'd like to get rid of the slighty yellowish default SCS color tone (as in the third picture in this post) you might want to look at tweaking with reshade. There's a load of alternatives on the internets for this and/or i can share my modest settings if you'd like to try them out. The "correct" settings will obviously vary a lot depending on monitors, personal preferences and what not. I use minor corrections just to tone down the yellow a bit and slightly deepen the blacks.
 

thewarmer

100RPM
Mar 12, 2010
223
74
Just come back from my first visit to the USA New York and New Jersey , Ho yes Traffic lights and road markings , and some very odd ramps on and off the interstates , and a some of the roads can be very rough.
I found the traffic light placement to be very good compared to some of the ones I find in Germany or the UK.
But it was interesting driving around. and it will be very nice once ATS makes it into this part of the USA in the future. But I am glad they have found a solution to the differences of traffic control found across the USA.
 

BP

1000RPM
Premium
Nov 1, 2016
1,355
1,364
Thanks Brandon. When I fire ATS up again I'll do that.
Please not those settings can bring most computers to their knees, especially if you're running a higher res than 1440K and/or need more than 60 FPS. I'm running triple 1080p (5860x1080) and the highest I can set scaling to is 300% to maintain 60 FPS (dips very rarely), on 400% it drops into the 30 FPS range in bigger locations. My computer specs are in my signature.
 

arthur666

250RPM
Aug 28, 2014
271
218
Very cool! There's always more tweaks to be tweaked.

For the update, add the Mini Cooper from ETS2 to the traffic! They are very popular here in the US.