Guest blog: On track to achieving hyperconnected travel
When thinking about the future of travel, you imagine intelligent systems that make moving around more flexible, sustainable, and responsive to passenger needs. But that isn’t a far-fetched idea, customers are already expecting these smarter experiences now.
With the new normal allowing more flexible hours and the ability to work from anywhere, people are on the move at all times of the day and it is clear that staying productive whilst travelling is a growing priority. Passengers are demanding better, reliable connectivity to ensure they can be more productive on the go and infrastructure needs to keep up.
BAI Communications latest Connectivity Outlook report explores the needs and demands of Londoners and, unsurprisingly, it found that London rail passengers want a safer, more connected, more sustainable transport network. With raised public health and cleanliness concerns and traditional commuter times on the way out, it is important to have the ability to stay connected, with 76% of people in the capital saying they’d take public transport more if they could work on documents en-route. And 73% of London passengers would consider changing their mobile provider if they couldn’t deliver connectivity over public transport networks.
Technology can help address growing customer expectations for everything from crowd control and sanitation to crime prevention and safety monitoring. Technologies that help passengers feel secure are appearing increasingly essential as we look to the future of public transport.
The future is closer than we think. BAI Communications’ partnership with Transport for London (TfL) is transforming one of the oldest transport networks in the world to provide high-speed mobile connectivity across the entire network. Passengers will be able to access seamless 4G and 5G mobile coverage within stations, platforms and tunnels, not only making travel time more conformable, but also creating a greener, safer, smarter and faster city.
This pervasive network will allow huge numbers of objects, assets and sensors to be transformed into Internet of Things (IoT) devices to offer TfL with a real-time view of current conditions making journeys faster, safer, easier and more comfortable. From managing the performance of escalators to revealing passenger trends, the critical communications infrastructure will also support the police, fire, and ambulance services, to aid public safety across the capital.
Reliable connectivity also provides societal benefits. By making city transport more comfortable, productive and attractive to the public, technology has a role to play in helping the city become less polluted through encouraging people to choose public transport. Passengers want their public transport networks to be greener and more sustainable, and 95% of passengers want government to invest in more sustainable transport.
Passengers recognise the crucial role of transport networks and support government spending on advanced communications infrastructure. With cleanliness, reliability, safety, connectivity and sustainability top of minds, city transport networks need to meet these demands. Technology holds the answer to these modern challenges, and connectivity has the ability to not only enhance the passenger experience, but bring ridership back to pre-pandemic levels, contributing to city sustainability goals.
Andrew Conway is Director of Solutions, Innovation and Technology at BAI Communications UK as part of techUK's Future of Mobility Campaign Week
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