Digitalisation of transport: challenges and new solutions

In a short period of time, the rise of digitalisation in transportation has profoundly changed everyone's practices. This is true for passenger transportation, where connected mobility is a priority for everyone in order to facilitate travel.

Digitalisation of transport: challenges and new solutions

The challenges of the digitalisation of mobility about passenger transportation

Digital technology has literally turned the world of passenger transportation upside down. Today, the stakes are high, both for mobility stakeholders and for users.

Digitalisation of transport: creating a connected mobility offer

In a society where everything goes faster and faster, people are waiting for solutions that will make their lives easier. This requires, among other things, rethinking the management of travel modes, in order to promote multimodality and intermodality,and limit the use of personal vehicles. Mobility stakeholders have therefore had to find tools that enable users to benefit from connected mobility, perfectly adapted to their daily lives and needs. These tools allow them to anticipate and manage their rides easily, wherever they are. All major cities are now equipped with ready-to-use connected mobility services, and usage is gradually extending to suburban and even rural areas.

Digitalisation of transport: designing a seamless client journey

The main objective of connected tools is to facilitate the daily life of users. Thus, transport opeators must be able to offer their clients digital tools that will make their trips more fluid. This includes chatbots, interactive kiosks, and mobile applications that allow users to simply act and make tailored rides . The idea is to offer multimodal and intermodal solutions, whether in the city centres, but also in peri-urban and rural areas, where thetransport offer is much less dense.

Digitalisation of transport: optimising the user experience

The ultimate goal of the digitalisation of passenger transportation is to improve the passenger experience. The user is at the heart of all concerns, and the main interest is to be able to offer a quality travel experience, with several goals in mind: to encourage the use of public transportation to ease traffic congestion, to limit the environmental impact of the various modes of travel, and to offer everyone access to transport infrastructures without disadvantaging the least dense areas. The challenges of connected mobility are therefore significant, and digitalisation is now at the heart of all mobility strategies. It is necessary to succeed in attracting travellers and converting them to public transport.

Digitalisation of transport: technology at the service of mobility

To capture the attention of passengers, and make them forget their individual vehicle in favor of public transport, several digitalisation tools have been thought.

The "Mobility as a Service" principle

To further optimise the passenger's experience and encourage users to use public transportation,MaaS (Mobility as a Service) is a service-based mobility solution. Operating through a mobile application, MaaS makes it easy to design an intermodal ride . Users simply enter their point of departure and destination, and the application calculates an optimised ride taking into account all available modes of travel.

Rather than having several applications for each means of transportation, everything is centralised to make the passenger's life easier. It is even possible to take advantage of the dematerialisation of the transport ticket, or the online payment of the subscription. The ambition here is both to promote the use of public transport, but also to act in favor of a sustainable mobility, by limiting the ecological impact of individual vehicles.

Operation and Passenger Information System tools

The Operation and Passenger Information system is also one of the digital innovations serving mobility. This solution takes into account the fluidity of public transport rides from 3 points of view: the driver's, the user's and the operations manager's.

The Operation and Passenger Information system allows to link each of these 3 parts, in order tooptimise the rides. To do this, the driver has a geolocation and GPS guidance system, as well as a calculation system that allows him/her to evaluate the delay or advance to the nearest minute. The operations manager is informed in real time of the driver's route and any errors, and can automatically create optimised itineraries. Finally, the user has access to an application that provides precise information on the waiting time for the next vehicle, its location in real time, and timetables that can be consulted at any time.

Ticketing and payment tools

Connected mobility not only means smooth transportation, but also simplified access to the various modes of public transportation. For example, dematerialised tickets are part of the effort to make life easier for users, since they can now buy their tickets online, directly from the application. Online payment methods, whether for a ticket or a pass, are a real challenge, since they once again optimise the user's ride, who no longer has to anticipate his or her trip by buying a ticket in a branch, or by always having change on hand.

Connected mobility has been booming for a few years. While private transport services have become much more digital, notably with carpooling or connected delivery, public transport is not left behind and offers ever more optimised services.

Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT)

Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT)

Primarily intended for peri-urban and rural populations, but not only, Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) aims to rationalise modes of transport in order to respond intelligently to the demand. By offering an optimised public transport solution, companies like Padam Mobility aim to facilitate travel in sparsely populated areas, where mobility options are limited. To do this, DRT provides users, via an application or a website, with a vehicle that will make the ride of their choice, at the times of their choice. Thanks to this tailor-made mobility solution, people can make simple rides and easily reach urban areas.

Digitisation allows the management of the transport network and the centralisation of requests in real time, while offering users a simple and intuitive management tool.

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