AMS Think fast, go slow

Modeling cyclist behaviour in a shared space environment

Globally cities are promoting active mobility – such as cycling or walking – as a clean, healthy and socially equitable way to travel. However, with active travel modes growing in terms of share, problems such as congestion, conflicts between different types of modes and accidents are increasing. Currently, there is little understanding of the parameters which describe active mode behaviour in an urban context. With this research AMS Institute, TU Delft, Oasys and Arup aim to lay the groundwork for the development of an accurate simulation tool to support better planning, design and management of urban mobility infrastructure for active modes of traveling.

The space available to accommodate active modes, has not grown accordingly. As a result cities are now facing over-crowded spaces, congestion in the bike lanes and safety issues at points of conflict between modes. When it comes to cars, we have been using advanced simulation tools for years to model traffic, improve our networks and help design good road infrastructure. Why can’t we model cyclists like we are able to model cars?

The behaviour of cyclists and pedestrians has found to be much more complex than that of car drivers. Their interaction and degrees of freedom in decision making are less guided by rules and regulations and therefore harder to predict.

This research is driven by the ambition to better understand the interfaces between pedestrians and cyclists in shared spaces. We aim to assess the suitability of the MassMotion software as a platform for the development of a mixed pedestrian and bicycle micro-simulation forecasting tool.

Oasys Software – MassMotion

We use video footage showing interactions between cyclists and pedestrians in a shared space, to develop a tool into which initial concepts for a mathematical model for cyclist behaviour are implemented. Although the tool will be a proof of concept, the potential of a full model is demonstrated by testing it on the shared space behind Amsterdam Central Station, pointing out which future developments will enable the upscale of the concept.

City of Amsterdam – Timelaps of the shared space at Amsterdam Central Station

Project duration
Oktober 2016 – April 2017 (expected end date)

TU Delft, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

Project lead
Laurens Tait, Associate Director, Arup

Related information
Oasys MassMotion

Tom Kuipers, AMS Institute

Laurens Tait, Arup

Winnie Daamen, TU Delft

This project is an AMS Stimulus Project. The aim of Stimulus Projects is to give to new and existing AMS partners support to innovative research that has a strong upscaling potential. The projects should realize short-term research output, which act as a catalyst of a new solution direction, concept or approach.