By Charlie Carmichael-
Train companies are to publish more real-time information to enable tech firms to develop intelligent travel apps for the future, under new plans announced today by the Rail Minister. Rail minister, Jo Johnson, and Rail Delivery Group Chief Executive, Paul Plummer aim to foster closer working relationships between rail and tech firms, and bring about more seamless, hassle-free journeys, and better information for passengers on services and delays. The intelligent app will also provide useful information relating to seats and on-board facilities, like toilets and refreshments. Better use of data could also allow rail companies to plan more effectively and to predict and fix issues before they arise, creating a more reliable railway.
The Uk government says the long term plan is to make information readily accessible and substantially improve communication between rail companies and tech firms in a manner that will make the quality of British public transport one of the very best in the world. Adequate information will also be available in the carriages of each train, with timely information about train arrivals and any delays or disruption present on any given day, in order to assist commuters in quickly making alternative plans to negate any disruptions that would normally take them by surprise. The ambitious plans are expected to extend for the next 10 years, eventually transforming the already internationally high standards of British transport.
British transport in the Uk is currently at fairly competitively high world standards, but there is still room for improvements. Available information about train times are generally good, but delays still occur without notice to passengers at various stations in the Uk, and this can be very destabilizing . The new plans are set to give Britain a global lead in the quality of transport , with digital technology used as an effective medium of useful information sharing that helps maximize the end goals of passengers heading to their various destinations.
Transport Minister Jo Johnson said:
This will speed the development of travel apps that provide passengers with helpful information about their journeys.
The government and the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the rail industry, have today published the ‘Joint rail data action plan’ which sets out the obligations and deadlines for delivering on these ambitions, overseen by an industry-led taskforce.
Transport Minister : Jo Johnson
Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, Paul Plummer, said:
Technology gave rise to the railway, connecting Britain, and the rail industry wants to channel this spirit to help produce cutting-edge products and services that can be exported around the world.
Digital technology in rail already means more timely information and less time spent waiting, helping to put customers in charge, and as part of the rail industry’s plan to change and improve we want to use technology to give customers more and more control.
Building on data that the industry has already made available, data will be released over the coming months to provide more consistent and timely information about train services, delays and disruption. Information will also be made available on the carriages that make up each train, enabling operators to more accurately communicate on board facilities, and to help passengers plan ahead and board in the most convenient place.
The plan will see the rail industry go further than this, by identifying and removing barriers to better information sharing by, for example, improving standardisation of how data is collected, stored and published, and improving clarity over which data is commercially sensitive and what data can be used for what purposes. The government and rail industry will also explore what incentives could be introduced to drive further innovation and data sharing, on top of that already planned.
Improving how rail companies and tech firms work together presents an opportunity for the UK to match its world class expertise in emerging technologies and address the transport challenges set out in the government’s ‘Future of mobility grand challenge.
The next 10 years will see significant changes in the way we travel and how we develop our transport infrastructure. This includes using digital technology to make journeys on our railways easier and simpler for everyone who wants to use them.”