How Amsterdam's smart mobility scene is revolutionising city travel
People want to get from A to B without the need to own a car, and Amsterdam’s abundance of smart mobility startups and urban transport innovations is helping them move in environmentally-friendly ways at the touch of a button.
Using data to improve city traffic
Not only are e-scooters, on-demand cars and travel planning apps helping people move around in a flexible, eco-friendly way, but Amsterdam’s smart mobility scene is also helping to manage traffic flow by producing data that can highlight pain points the city can address or even prepare for driverless cars.
Amsterdam is among 5 Dutch cities behind a recently-launched project to develop a European mobility data standard. The City Data Standard – Mobility (CDS-M) will allow information on mobility patterns, including the use of shared vehicles, traffic flows and parking, to be shared in an easy-to-process format and in compliance with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation.
User-friendly apps have already been developed that use data to map city traffic. The Smart City Amsterdam app provides up-to-date information on, for example, train delays, and the Mismeniet (‘don’t miss me’) app, on departure times and distances to ferries.
Amsterdam is a renowned ‘living lab’ for innovation, so it’s no surprise Amsterdam-based firms are the driving force behind global smart mobility trends. We’ve rounded up the biggest homegrown and international names you’ll see e-zipping around the Amsterdam Area:
Who better than an Amsterdam startup-gone-global to create the smartest and most desirable electric bike? Dutch brothers Ties and Taco Carlier set out to redesign the typical commuter bike to address the specific requirements and challenges of urban cycling. The VanMoof includes features like anti-theft and tracking tech, hole-proof tires and integrated lights and locks.
Amsterdam-founded ViaVan is on a mission to redefine what public transport can be, helping it change from a system of rigid routes to a dynamic and flexible on-demand network. After passengers select their pickup and drop off locations in the ViaVan app, a powerful algorithm assigns a vehicle in real-time based on the most efficient route that also utilises the car for sharing. It’s also a fully electric alternative to ride-hailing and sharing service Uber.
You don’t need to have been in Amsterdam long to have spotted a racing green Felyx weaving through the city. These nimble e-scooters offer riders a quick and flexible way of getting around at their fingertips. The app lets you locate, reserve and activate the nearest ride. The Amsterdam startup is now operating on the streets of Germany and Belgium.
Buurauto: this neighbourhood electric car share initiative is steadily picking up customers and locations. In 2018 its Nissan car transferred electricity back to the grid in a groundbreaking trial in Amsterdam.
Roboat: a futuristic and autonomous robot boat that multi-tasks as a taxi, bridge, floating stage, waste collector and freight transporter. Oh, and a mobile stage. It’s being tested on Amsterdam’s waterways and could be coming to a canal near you soon.