Design safe cycle paths with the latest version of Transoft Solutions’ AutoTURN PRO

08-05-2020

Soon, urban and transportation planners will be able to review whether their plans meet the rapidly growing demands that cyclists are placing on infrastructure for bikes – including e-bikes, cargo bikes and bikes used in sharing schemes.

That’s all thanks to the latest version of AutoTURN™ Pro 11, which will make it possible to simulate the trips taken by a whole variety of bikes. AutoTURN™ Pro from Transoft Solutions is the number-one application for analysing swept paths and 3D envelopes. With its brand new cycle simulation feature it offers analysis and visualisation of bicycle paths, s allowing users to optimise the layout of modern cycle infrastructure and make traffic situations safer.

As cities grow in population and become increasingly dense, transport networks are facing an increasingly complex set of challenges. Today’s urban planners are looking for safer and more sustainable ways to handle the progressively larger quantities of people, vehicles and goods moving around. As they set about redesigning infrastructure in response to this, they also need to find appropriate solutions for cyclists.

Urban planners and engineers have long relied on Transoft’s AutoTURN when designing transportation projects. Its accuracy, dependability and user-friendly design have made AutoTURN software the go-to tool for swept path analysis – for new development projects, rehabilitation schemes or temporary traffic management plans.

As a city we see a growing claim on public space for bicycles and also a bigger diversity in types of bicycles. That means we must cope with more diversity in designing the city’s infrastructure. AutoTURN Pro’s cycle simulation can help us getting this job done.
Jan van den Driessche, Traffic engineer, City of Rotterdam, NL 

With the new release of AutoTURN Pro, designers will be able to ensure not only that car and other motor vehicle traffic can safely turn without impeding cyclists, but also that on-street and off-street plans account for the specific turning requirements of bicycles. Conventional bikes and other kinds cycles demonstrate different movement and behaviour patterns from car and commercial vehicle simulations. The new AutoTURN Pro version automatically models the way in which they act, along with key parameters such as the steering angle and friction coefficient. The software will be capable of assessing standard design bicycles (based on dimensions for the design guidelines for bikes) as well as a variety of bicycles modelled to specification. Among the supported arrangements are standard bicycles, as well as bicycles with front cargo or back trailers, and front cargo trikes.

Different bicycle models for cycle path design

When developing the new AutoTURN cycle analysis features, Transoft consulted existing design guidelines and field tests to create and calibrate algorithms that replicate bicycle behaviors. The field tests[1],  used multiple types of bicycles. In these field tests, volunteer riders followed marked paths of 90-degree turns with 5- and 10-metre turning radii. For each ride, speed and lean angle data were collected. These tests have been invaluable in helping define vital parameters such as the maximum lean angle (maximum capacity for bicycle to lean when turning a corner) and transition duration (the time it takes to steer in from a straight line path to a steady state turn).

[1] Conducted by Sustrans, a UK-based charity for sustainable transport.

turning radius and lean angle for bike lane design

In what is already a standard feature for motor vehicles, AutoTURN Pro is now also able to accommodate the space required for bikes dynamically, providing planners with reliable simulation results accounting for speed and turning transitions.

bicycle swept path simulation and analysis

In addition to the new software functions, Transoft Solutions has developed bicycle turning templates, to compare the turning capabilities of different bicycles and analyzing clearances required at different speeds, transition times and maximum lean angles.

Cycle turning radius calculation