In September 2008, Waag Society made a video for the City of Amsterdam about a possible future integrated transport system, called the Personal Travel Assistant, that aims to stimulate alternative means of transport for commuters by using a combination of a information system and a social network.
Traffic jams, overcrowded inner city roads, parking problems, environmental issues: it is clear that the city wants to move employees towards alternative means of transport for the car, like public transport, the bicycle or to get there on foot. By using the Personal Travel Assistant (PTA), a next step in accomplishing this goal within urban regions could be made. PTA combines available transport information with a social network, in which the personal diary is shared with other users of the system and their companies through the internet and mobile services. With PTA,commuters can make smart combinations with the travel routes of other participants. A meeting can be scheduled to take place in the metro or a seat on the bus can be reserved.
The movie was made for the Connected Urban Development Conference 2008 (CUD), that took place in Amsterdam in September at the Passenger Terminal, co-hosted by Cisco and the City of Amsterdam. The theme of the Amsterdam conference was "Connectivity for Sustainability". The conference brought together a community of global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions for some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as energy, climate change, and sustainability.
In 2009, PTA was further developed during the graduation project of Vincent Steurs (Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering TU Delft). His research resulted in a thorough publication called 'Getting Around' and a first prototype of the actual application.