New technology in transport welcomed by the British public

Rabih Arzouni, Chief Technology Officer, Transport Sector, Fujitsu

The British public welcomes the use of new technology in public transport but doesn’t expect to see further advances in the near future, according to new research commissioned by Fujitsu. The research, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Fujitsu, highlights how the public has warmed to technological innovation in public transport, but is cautious to accept that new developments are soon to follow.

The research suggests the public believes new technologies have made journeys more efficient than what was previously available, as they deem them necessary to meet the demands of modern travel. However, when considering technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning (ML), most consumers do not expect to see any notable updates in the near future.

Reacting to the findings, Rabih Arzouni, Fujitsu’s Chief Technology Officer for Transport, commented: “The transport sector and its supply chain have a responsibility to continue to develop, scale and roll out new technologies that serve the interests of customers. It is clear that passengers welcome the use of new technologies, but the data highlights that consumers are sometimes not necessarily aware they are benefiting from these services, in the same way they enjoy features like contactless payments.”

Key statistics from the second wave of the research from Fujitsu include:

  • Over a third (38%) of people feel technologies, such as contactless payments, have made their journeys more efficient, while 35% feel they’ve made journeys more enjoyable
  • 55% think accurate route planning services such as Transport for London’s ‘Plan a Journey’ app have been rolled out well and offer a valuable service
  • Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) people are pleased with the availability of contactless or smartphone payments at security barriers
  • 80% do not anticipate the use of facial recognition for security measures in the next five years
  • Over three-quarters (78%) do not expect to see AI, IoT and ML in the next five years

Arzouni continued: “What is encouraging is that the public has taken to the range of technologies currently in use in the public transport sector. The fact that over a third of customers feel their journeys are made more enjoyable by these solutions suggests they are making a positive impact on the quality of the travelling experience.

“Consumer expectations of future technologies may in fact be being dampened due to the lack of exposure they get to the back-end use of AI, IoT and ML on their journeys. These technologies are already providing the foundations for more personalised, efficient transport services, and so operators must ensure they communicate how, where and why new technologies are being used to improve services. In doing so, operators will help engender positive customer sentiment for the work they are doing, which is crucial for the future health of their relationship with passengers, in the face of increasing competition from private transport entities.”

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