APT tests intelligent solutions for traffic congestion

The Amsterdam Practical Trial (APT) is a series of major pilot tests that use the latest innovations, both in cars and on the road. The APT tests new and improved services that integrate innovative systems on roads and in cars for road users. The objective is to improve traffic flow, make traffic safer and help make cities cleaner.

Unique in the world

Nowhere else is intelligent technology being tested for traffic management in daily traffic on such a large scale than in Amsterdam. The underlying premise is that if it works in the Amsterdam region, it should work in any other metropolitan region in the world.

Universally applicable knowledge

Driving is changing very rapidly. It will not be long before every new car has a digital address and communicates with information systems alongside the road. Almost all drivers have smartphones with clever apps for information and navigation. The possibilities are infinite. Just think about self-driving cars that choose the best routes to avoid congestion.

The driving revolution is the driving force behind APT. By testing which ideas and technologies work in practice, we are gathering the knowledge that we need to solve traffic jams in urban areas in the 21st century. The lessons and the solutions that emerge from our pilots must be transferable to any city, anywhere in the world.

The large-scale testing of these innovative concepts makes for a more cost-effective roll-out and brings opportunities for new markets. This delivers Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (AMA) and other national and international entities new ways to manage traffic (manage, guide, advise and inform) to solve problems and facilitate road-users.

Dispersing traffic is to enhance traffic flow

Traffic is just like water – it accumulates if blocked. Drivers always want to take the fastest route from A to B, but if everyone chooses the same route at the same time, they will all come to a standstill. This is why we use the latest technology such as intelligent traffic lights and intelligent apps to spread traffic around Amsterdam’s road network. We speed up traffic here, slow it down there and divert it elsewhere. As a whole, the traffic then flows better and ultimately everyone is better off. Even if it means occasionally having to wait a little longer.

Completed projects phase 1 and 2

In 2016 and 2017, APT carried out several experimental projects on integrating innovative systems in traffic control. The tests were performed on different locations: APT West (on the A10-West Amsterdam ring road and the S105-S107 approach roads), APT South East (at the area around the Amsterdam ArenA) and APT North (in Zaanstad and Amsterdam North). Prior to 2016, APT already tested innovative roadside systems and in-car systems separately. Read about the results of these tests.

Current projects phase 3: Concorda and SOCRATES2.0

In the third phase (2018 – 2021) the APT works towards a new traffic management system (Integrated Network-wide Traffic Management) in which smart roadside and in-car technologies are fully integrated. Together with the automotive industry, telecom sector and service providers APT cooperates in the European funded projects Concorda and SOCRATES2.0. Parallel APT works on the further implementation and roll out of the previously tested concepts and components (consolidation projects), such as the Common Operational Picture and Integrated Traffic Network Management. At the end of phase 3 the successes of and lessons learnt in Concorda and SOCRATES2.0 are also embedded.


APT is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Rijkswaterstaat (the executive arm of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment), the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Province of Noord-Holland, the Amsterdam Transport Authority and NDW. APT works closely together with the industry and the Technical University of Delft.

Amsterdam Practical Trial is a complex project whose success depends on state-of-the-art knowledge, skills and insights. Collaboration is key. Not only have the road managers involved joined forces, but innovative actors in the private sector and academia are cooperating intensively too. If cars and traffic management instruments communicate with each other, this will have implications for the entire chain, from the traffic management systems to the software in the car that processes the information. Every step must be right, every link in the chain needs to work.