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On average commuters travel 6,500 miles per year. The current strain on public transport has been a topic of conversation over the last few years with tensions rising over tube strikes and the increasing demands being put on our services. Investment in the UK's railway and airport infrastructure will almost double by 2025, according to analysis published in October 2015 by PwC and Oxford Economics.
According to Econsultancy, 84% of travel companies see digital transformation and mobile at the core of their development focus and have done so for a number of years. As a result, we have easy payment methods, a paperless ticket system and enough information at our fingertips to put the buying power into the consumers’ hands. However, with a growing population is this enough? Can our current system sustain our demand?
According to Deloitte, efficiency and the improvement of it is at the centre of the future of transport. The current wave of digital innovation has given customers access to information on demand but has also created a digital disruption, allowing companies like Uber to gain market share and become multi-billion dollar global enterprises.
Since 2009 the transport component of the Consumer Prices Index has risen on average by 5.4% a year, making it one of the areas where prices have risen the fastest over this period. According to a survey conducted by PWC, 12% of workers have moved to a job closer to home and 9% switched transport methods in order to save money on transport costs. 25% of all adults surveyed have had to borrow money to pay for transport costs.
Over the next few years we are expecting a huge injection of “state-of-the-art information and communication technologies” that will force greater efficiency of our transport system. Xcede has recruited in the Digital and Analytics space for over 15 years, during this period we have seen a dramatic increase in the capabilities of Data, Analytics and Technology. Companies can now process mass data in almost real-time and as a result are more educated on what we as consumers want and how they can improve both in the short-term and the future.
The adoption of digital will also enable operators to deliver services more safely and efficiently, with intelligent networks and greater automation. Across rail and metro services, changes to ticketing and user information will transform the relationship with the customer.
So what does this mean for the future of travel? What are the next steps and what should we expect as consumers?
“A modern transport system which doesn’t stream data is inconceivable. He who wants to build the world’s most modern infrastructure must envisage, plan and build roads, rails and digital capability all as one.”
Alexander Dobrindt, German Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure
The future of the transport industry will be intelligent and user centred, putting consumers first with a proactive approach. We can expect a modern metro system synching travel plans with our devices, monitoring traffic flow and passenger numbers. As with driverless vehicles, the transport industry is surely heading in the same direction. Though more notably trains will be automatically controlled, and track assets will communicate status data in real-time to a manned control centre. According to Deloitte “the public and private sectors will be working together to push the integrated transport agenda, thereby delivering tangible improvements in user experience and operator efficiency.”
It is clear we have a lot to look forward to as the transport industry introduces a more intelligent infrastructure growing from the use and understanding of mass data to streamline the customer experience. Will these improvements put an end to the dreaded tube/transport strikes? Let's wait and see.