Changing the way we use train stations
Bringing about a better user experience in UK railway stations through digital transformation is becoming an urgent priority. This implementation will, in turn, trigger economic growth and have a positive impact on general well-being.
How can the latest relevant technologies be applied to train stations and what value-driven services can make them smarter, healthier and more efficient? Experimenting with technology and innovation such as AI, 5G, drones and VR/AR, as well as integrating neuroscience within trials can profoundly change the way we use and experience railway stations in the coming years.
Other countries are already experimenting with the digital transformation of train stations. Last year, SNCF Gares & Connexion (a French company reinventing train station experiences) launched an initiative to turn Paris Gare de l’Est into a mobility hub and collaborated with start-ups and industry partners to trial new services and better embed mobility as a service into the building. In China, Huawei is launching the world’s first 5G rail station in Shanghai Hongqiao in September 2019. Passengers will access data much faster (eg, they will be able to download a film in less than 20 seconds) and get access to a new range of innovative services, and even interact with station-based robots.
Collaboration for positive change
This type of collaboration and open-innovation are the best ways to spark positive changes in antiquated systems. Connected Places Catapult aims to build a community of active innovation stakeholders from the whole value chain and to mobilise them in ‘Future of Stations’ testbeds, deploying solutions with the rail companies and relevant organisations.
Putting the human at the centre of innovation is critical to ensure market uptake and impactful results. The results of these experiments will lead to the co-creation of new services and business models that will make those solutions scalable, replicable and sustainable in the UK and beyond.
Together, by using the latest digital technologies, we can improve the experience of all travellers in UK rail stations, contribute to making their daily commute better, smoother and less stressful by taking into account their needs and expectations.
The UK has both the means and the ambition to lead in this area and can transform these stations into destinations and drivers for growth.
If you’re interested in working on our Future of Stations testbeds, get in touch with Nadia Echchihab.