Public transport, both in terms of convenience and the passenger experience, and safety and security has been a consistent source of headlines in the last year and looking forward to the year ahead we fully expect this to continue.
But what else will 2018 bring for the future of transport?
Data charge reductions to boost use of digital on-board services
Modern technology has made being ‘connected’ much easier and having constant access to digital services has become an essential part of everyday life. This is also true when it comes to public transport but, despite the rise of wifi hotspots and mobile data, millions of passengers are still being left disappointed by poor services.
Coupled with this, rail and bus providers are paying millions, if not billions, every year in data charges for unreliable connections.
Allowing passengers to connect to an on-board network – rather than phone networks – will reduce the cost of data charges to rail providers and will be a major driver in the increase of digital on-board services in 2018.
This is particularly true of infotainment systems, as people become more demanding of having access to entertainment, like films, TV shows, YouTube stars, Podcasts and music videos, while they travel.
More sponsorship of content
This rise in demand for better infotainment and digital on-board services will also likely lead to major brands and businesses sponsoring high quality systems as brands come to realise they have a unique opportunity to communicate with an essentially captive audience.
Sponsoring these on-board entertainment services will allow businesses to give better targeted messages to passengers, build brand channels that deliver unique content to passengers, and interact with people who have time on their hands in a way that almost no other platform can give them in this connected age. We expect to see a rise in sponsored content in 2018.
On board security
It goes without saying that on-board security and the role of technology in keeping passengers safe will be the big issue in 2018.
This is particularly true when it comes to luggage monitoring and tracking, and we fully expect to see a rise in the employment of tracking systems on-board public transport which allow passengers to monitor the location of their luggage in real time and alert authorities if they accidently leave it behind or if it is stolen.
We are also expecting to see the emergence of ‘CCTV panic buttons’ which are devices that can be given to vulnerable passengers – or installed on their phones – and if activated would automatically turn on and focus the surrounding CCTV cameras on to them so they can be easily found and any incidents immediately recorded.
Without doubt 2018 is going to be another technology focussed year for the transportation industry and there will likely be many more developments which we haven’t touched on here. Whatever happens, passengers are set to benefit from better on-board services as providers open their eyes to the benefits they can offer passengers while boosting their own reputations in the process.
To learn more about the different changes to transport networks in more detail, click on the link below to download our eBook: