About Amsterdam Practical Trial

Testing traffic in Amsterdam: smart spacing = smooth sailing

Amsterdam Practical Trial tests intelligent solutions for traffic congestion. The Amsterdam Practical Trial (PPA) is a large-scale field operational trial putting the newest innovations to the test, both in cars and on the road. Nowhere else in the world is smart technology being applied for traffic management at such a large scale in daily traffic: with real cars and real drivers in the well-travelled Amsterdam region. The aim of this experiment is to test each step in creating a future where cars, navigation systems, traffic lights and information signs are connected and automatically working. As a result, this field test contributes to improved traffic flow, less congestion and a cleaner city.

Knowledge applied everywhere

Mobility on the road is changing rapidly. It won’t be long before every new car is equipped with its own digital address and communicating with roadside information systems. Most drivers today already have a powerful smartphone with smart apps for traffic information and navigation - a development that offers promising possibilities. It could even mean the end of traffic jams. It is this evolution that lies at the foundation of PPA. By investigating which ideas and techniques are effective in practice, we collect the knowledge necessary to solve the problems of urban-area traffic congestion of the 21st century. The lessons learned and solutions tested in Amsterdam are evaluated for their usability in any city, anywhere in the world.

Spacing creates traffic flow

Traffic is like water. People are always in search of the quickest way to get from A to B. However when everyone chooses the same quick route, congestion is inevitable. The use of new techniques, such as intelligent traffic lights and smart apps, helps to distribute traffic more evenly across the Amsterdam road network. Allow for acceleration in one area, while letting others wait and creating a detour elsewhere. This improves the flow of traffic as a whole and everyone is better off - even if it means having to wait a little longer at times.


PPA is a challenging project that requires a high level of knowledge, skill and insight to be a success. Collaboration is the key word for making this happen. Not only have public road administrators joined forces, but also innovative private market players and the scientific partners are involved and working intensively side-by-side. Once cars and traffic management instruments begin communicating, the consequences will be felt throughout the supply chain. From road management systems to the software in individual cars to process the information received, every stage in the process must be correct, each link in the chain must function properly.

PPA is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Rijkswaterstaat, the minicipality of Amsterdam, Province of Noord-Holland, City Region of Amsterdam, various companies and the Delft University of Technology.