Pedestrian Simulation

Urban planning, traffic management, security activities, event management, running of stations and airports - all of these need reliable base for their decisions. Pedestrian simulation supports them in this.

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Many factors influence the movement of pedestrians: How do they cross an intersection? Do they form a queue when getting on a bus? Is the stairway to the subway wide enough for the number of passengers? When the infrastructure is set for these movements, there is safe mobility for everyone.

Pedestrian simulation software helps decide which appropriate measures to take. It also shows the advantages and disadvantages of different planning variants. The analysis of pedestrian flows is particularly important in complex scenarios. For example, in the planning of train stations, the preparation of mass events, or simply when making streets more pedestrian-friendly.

When planning fire safety measures or evacuation routes, pedestrian simulation can even save lives.

  • Clear presentation of policy and public measures
  • Checking the sufficiency of existing or planned capacities
  • Analyzing and optimizing current infrastructure
  • Planning measures and testing their effects
  • Integration of new mobility concepts

Application areas of pedestrian simulation

Traffic Infrastructure

A lot of effort is put into optimizing traffic light timings for motorized traffic. But pedestrians, who take less space and are more flexible, should also be considered in this planning process: Is there enough space for them on the crossing 'islands'? Can waiting times at successive traffic lights be reduced? Are sidewalks wide enough? These are only a few questions that an integrated pedestrian simulation can answer. It provides the right basis for making the right decisions that lead to the right solutions.


Station and airport management

Capacity bottlenecks affect roads and sidewalks - but also train stations, airports, and shopping centers. With simulation software, the movements of pedestrians can be displayed and analyzed. It is also possible to simulate an expected increase in capacity - for example due to a new track or gate. This allows planned measures and their effects to be tested in advance.

Fire protection

When people need to escape from a burning building, every second counts. In case of an emergency, it is necessary to know in advance where bottlenecks will form. In addition, how long does it take for everyone to leave the building? Is there enough time for everyone to get to safety? Pedestrian simulation software can analyze and visualize results from fire simulations (FDS) and calculate the effects of fire safety products on people.

More security for large events

Pedestrian simulation can provide valuable support for safety. This applies to large events, sporting events, festivals, and trade fairs, where the safety of thousands of people is at stake. Crowd management is key here: How should the streams of visitors be controlled to match capacity? How can evacuation and fire protection measures be best implemented? Pedestrian simulation software provides the answers - and the safety. You can find more information about safety and traffic concepts for events in the PTV Blog.

Planning of temporary measures

During major construction projects, urban traffic planning of detours ensures smooth mobility. Temporary measures during construction often require that stations and stops handle many times the number of passengers they were designed to.

In addition, the coronavirus crisis raised new questions: How to keep physical distance between commuters, when footpaths are narrow, queues are long, or when getting on and off at bus stops? More information on how pedestrian simulation helps to prepare temporary measures at PTV Blog.


These customers rely on PTV's pedestrian simulation