Aimsun Start

Fast, high-level scenario assessment using open data and non-real-time simulation. Perfect for a pre-feasibility study or a preliminary proof of concept.

Aimsun Start gives you a quick preliminary sketch of strategic concepts and their likely impact on the transportation network.

With a typical implementation time of 8-12 weeks and no need for you to provide any movement or location data of your own, the Aimsun Start solution is designed to give you a fast, affordable assessment, proof of concept or pre-feasibility study.

Whether you want to understand the broad impact of a new road, changes in public transportation services or road closures, Aimsun Start is the perfect first step for decision makers who need fast answers without too much unnecessary detail.

Aimsun Start – Top benefits

Fast proof of concept: get a quick, preliminary sketch of how an idea or strategic concept will work, using a model built on basic assumptions using publicly available data.

Understanding: high-level, rapid assessment of mobility scenarios, from changes in public transit services, to road closures or access to areas slated for development.

‘Optioneering’: perfect for pre-feasibility studies to support the preliminary “go /no go” phase of deciding which options might be worth progressing to a more concrete stage.

Scope: compare any metric, from flow, speed, and density to delay time, fuel consumption, emissions and much more.

Scalability: if a more detailed cost-benefit analysis later becomes necessary, this initial model can be recycled as the foundation for one that is more complete.

Cost: take the ‘no frills’ approach and only pay for what you need.

Fit for purpose: stripped of all extraneous detail, on the understanding that there is no need for a full simulation effort or detailed cost-benefits analysis at this preliminary stage.

Aimsun Start – Top use cases

Rapid assessment of policy decisions and network sensitivities

Assess high-level policy impacts on large-scale networks and cities.

Get an overview of the impacts of lobby group proposals, new government guidelines or policies such as:

  • Assessing how much traffic a new ring road would alleviate from the city center.
  • Understanding where traffic will divert with traffic calming measures.
  • Identifying the roads impacted by the closure of a bridge for maintenance.
  • Estimating the accessibility of new developments by walking, cycling and public transport.

Pre-feasibility assessments of concept options

Understand the impact of a development on the surrounding network.

Aimsun Start can be used for a quick assessment of the accessibility of a new land use development. Get an overview of which roads will see the greatest increase of traffic when the new development is in place.

Rapid testing of changes to a service

Plan service lines for public transport.

A sustainable and livable city requires a public transport system that is inclusive and accessible to everyone.

Aimsun Start can help cities achieve this goal by enabling accessibility studies that test a range of improvements to the public transportation system.

The studies start with importing the road network from OpenStreetMap and the current lines and timetables from GTFS. Then isochrone calculations are performed to/from selected zones or place of interest, and we can measure how travel times change when altering routes or timetables.

Rapid, high-level assessment of developments and infrastructure

Find locations with high accessibility for development planning.

Rapid, high-level assessment of developments and infrastructure. Accessibility is not just about the ability of people to reach places and services – it is also about the ability of places to be reached by people and goods.

Aimsun Start analyzes accessibility data for direct application to policy and strategy, such as:

  • Where to build new homes to ensure high quality of life with good access.
  • Where to provide public services such as hospitals and schools.
  • How to ensure people have access to shops and services.

Aimsun Start can guide local authority compliance with government accessibility guidelines and laws to do with equity of access to health services and education. Aimsun Start can also support reporting on accessibility changes that may occur with development planning decisions and help developers to demonstrate improvements in access.

Case studies

Urban Mobility Advocacy

FIA Mobility Advocate project, Colombia

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) needed a rapid overview of local traffic in a historic city center to support a set of mobility policies.

To build the model, Aimsun used available data through open sources: OpenStreetMap and General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), as well as aerial photography.

The model includes network, signals, public transport, and pedestrians to help policymakers investigate traffic situations and compare different scenarios, such as zones with a lower speed limit, streets being closed to through-traffic, new road space allocation for bicycles, or roadside delivery operations on traffic flow.

The results support stakeholders in making data-driven decisions. This modeling approach will help FIA promote the implementation of mobility policies across member clubs worldwide.

Accessibility analysis

Mallorca island

The project team developed a set of data analysis tools to enable collaborative decision-making between airports and ground transport stakeholders.

Using primarily open data sources, Aimsun modeled the airport’s surrounding surface transportation system and used data analysis tools to build typical detection patterns from historical count data.

The model enables simulations of delay mitigation strategies, such as traffic management actions or changes in the capacity of frequency of buses or other public transit.

This model will serve as a base network for further analysis of airport access operations as part of the EU-funded IMHOTEP project.

Disruption Management

London City Airport

The aim was to improve airport customer experience by evaluating different travel disruption scenarios, such as road closures, motorway accidents or major flight delays.

Aimsun modeled the airport’s surrounding transportation system using mainly public data: OpenStreetMap data for the network, TransXChange and NaPTAN databases for public transport, and count data from public authorities.

The Aimsun team developed a method for reading passenger demand, keeping track of their positions in the network, as well as the travel times.

The model gave a better understanding of the system status and serve as a base network for more detailed studies on disruptions, which will benefit both passengers and policymakers.

The upgrade path from Aimsun Start

Start small, evolve to match your resources and strategic objectives.


Proprietary Data is non-public data, important enough to give a competitive advantage.


A combination of detection data and traffic-control data.

If you’re using Aimsun Start for accessibility and impact analysis, you can transition easily to Aimsun Plus for complete planning and operations analysis. Get in touch with us today at and we can start the conversation.

To learn more about Aimsun’s modular platform, click here.

Aimsun Plus

An all-in-one solution to mobility modeling for a whole city or even a region. Get a single, united network representation of how people move in any mode, on any scale.

Aimsun Plus

An all-in-one solution to mobility modeling for a whole city or even a region. Get a single, united network representation of how people move in any mode, on any scale.

To learn more, send us a message and we'll start the conversation.

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Cite Aimsun Next

Aimsun Next 24

Aimsun (2024). Aimsun Next 24 User’s Manual, Aimsun Next Version 24.0.0, Barcelona, Spain. Accessed on: April. 16, 2024. [Online].


Aimsun Next 24

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title = {Aimsun Next 24 User’s Manual},
author = {Aimsun},
edition = {Aimsun Next 24.0.0},
address = {Barcelona, Spain},
year = {2024. [Online]},
month = {Accessed on: Month, Day, Year},
url = {},

Aimsun Next 24

T1 – Aimsun Next 24 User’s Manual
A1 – Aimsun
ET – Aimsun Next Version 24.0.0
Y1 – 2024
Y2 – Accessed on: Month, Day, Year
CY – Barcelona, Spain
PB – Aimsun
UR – [In software]. Available: