People on train platform

The way forward with smart mobility

Even for brief local journeys, for shopping or work purposes, people often combine walking, cycling or driving, and public transportation like urban rail, or the underground or bus. Such multi-modal travel is now part of everyday life. At STBY, we have worked with several organizations, including Google, Here, Dutch Rail and Prorail to find out how they can offer more improved and integrated services to meet the needs of multi-modal travellers.

A spectrum of needs and wants

When examined carefully, a journey reveals a broad spectrum of customer needs and wants. These come into play well before people actually get underway. Preparation includes planning, orientation and location-finding tasks, such as the finding of places of interest, figuring out directions, reading reviews, checking the weather and co-ordinating actions with co-travellers. Once on the go, there is real-time navigation of new places, finding and making connections, dealing with delays, while simultaneously maintaining contact with co-travellers. Back home again, people want to look up the places they’ve visited, look at pictures, contribute to reviews and recommendations, and share their memories with co-travellers and others.

People now accomplish this by making use of a number of devices, applications and services which offer support for separate bits of this spectrum of needs. For example, different apps offer maps, public transport information, reviews and weather reports. These are spread through different devices which don’t always seamlessly connect (e.g. phone, laptop or tablet, car navigation).

Opportunities for smarter mobility

As the sharing of data across our personal devices gets more cloud-based and smarter, new opportunities are emerging to provide seamless and integrated support for the many kinds of journeys people make. We’re helping clients explore these opportunities, through a number of international research projects focusing on ways to support multi-modal travel better through integrated digital solutions. As we find ways of meaningfully and efficiently connecting devices and the information they provide, truly smart mobility will become a reality for today’s multi-modal travellers.