Amsterdam to use Google data to decrease traffic jams

Amsterdam to use Google data to decrease traffic jams

The city of Amsterdam plans on using anonymous data provided by Google to improve traffic flow in and around the city, in an effort to reduce traffic jams.

The American tech giant expects the number of traffic jams to be lowered by 15 percent. The new partnership was announced recently at the Innovation Expo taking place in the Dutch capital.

Data from smartphones

Google will provide anonymous data collected from drivers’ mobile phones in order to create a better impression of traffic flow.

Currently the city uses data collected from sensors embedded in the road to get an idea of where there are bottlenecks and high volumes of traffic. City officials say this is a relatively expensive solution for traffic management.

More affordable solution

The data that Google offers is cheaper, smarter and offers improved real-time information. When traffic blockages occur it would allow the city to respond quicker with alternative routes, minimising the impact on traffic flow.

Potential applications

The real-time data from Google can for example be combined with informational road signs and smartphone apps to guide drivers in the Amsterdam area to alternative routes when disruptions to the traffic flow arise.

Better cities

This initiative is part of the "Better Cities" programme where the three parties (Amsterdam, Google and TNO) explore various applications for traffic data.

In addition to the digital road signs and smartphone apps, reducing traffic jams and improving traffic jam alerts, they are also looking into the wider impact of drivers choosing their own detours in the case of traffic jams. By analysing the behaviour of drivers in such circumstances, the city can better anticipate various traffic scenarios.

Thomas Lundberg


Thomas Lundberg

Born as a Swede in the Netherlands, this life-long expat has spent his time in Belgium, the United States and Amsterdam. He began his professional career as a regional news...

Read more



Leave a comment