Vehicle Turning Radius Calculation

How do you calculate the turning radius for a vehicle?

Cars, trucks and even bikes all have a turning radius. The turning radius is the space a vehicle needs to make a certain turn, usually on a road. When new streets are designed or routes for transportation are planned it is essential that one keeps in mind the turning radius of the vehicles that will use that street.

In the past ‘turning templates’ were used by traffic engineers, those templates would be placed on top of a drawing to test if the design had enough space. In modern days a computer is used to calculat

e the exact turning radius of a specific car or truck. For this purpose, AutoTURN was developped. With a program like AutoTURN you can add vehicles to your designs, so you can check the turning radius.

As you can imagine, one of the most important factors is having the correct vehicles available. The turning radius depends heavily on specifications of your vehicle like the vehicle size, the amount of axles, the steering and the wheelbase. Many countries have their own vehicle specifications so cars, trucks, busses, ambulances, fire trucks and other design vehicles you use when calculating the turning radius, should be very specific. Alternatively, some programs offer you the option of creating your own custom vehicle and calculate your custom vehicle’s turning radius. Swept Path Analysis


If you are looking into calculating the turning radius of a vehicle, you might want to start with downloading a free demo. That way you can easily test compatibility with your CAD-platform and have a look at the available vehicle libraries in the software. If you don’t have a mayor CAD platform, or in case you only need to check the turning radius of a vehicle rarely and are looking for a cheaper solution, you can also use a cloud based solution that does not require a specific CAD platform to calculate the vehicle’s turning radius. In that case you can use AutoTURN Online.

Below you can find a more detailed video that describes the possibilities and gives you more insights to how you can calculate the vehicle turning radius: