Rail industry sets priorities for progress

The innovation priorities that must be addressed in order for the rail industry to meet the needs of future passengers have been identified at a cross industry forum organised by Panasonic.

A report from the event, Delivering Innovation in Rail: The Connected Passenger details the nine priorities, with the number one priority named as ‘the need to improve real time information for passengers’.

Among the organisations represented at the event at London’s Tower of London, were Network Rail, Transport for London, British Transport Police, First Rail, Arriva Trains and Docklands Light Railway.

The nine strategic challenges identified during the event, in order of importance were:

  1. How to make customer decision making better in real time
  2. How to dynamically change capacity
  3. How to keep our railways safe for people
  4. How to ensure the ticketing system is seamless for the entire journey
  5. How to change the culture to test ideas and minimise risk
  6. How to incentivise franchises to implement innovation and not be commercially penalised
  7. How to enable innovation rather than just workshopping it
  8. How to give operators room to differentiate whilst also providing consistency for customers?
  9. How can we ensure that the Connected Driver Advisory System (CDAS) is compatible with Traffic Management?

Panasonic is one of the world’s biggest providers of connected, intelligent technology solutions for business, and it is working with multiple rail operators to drive innovation forward.

“The report will enable Panasonic to focus its resources including research and development to better address the specific challenges facing the rail industry,” said Tony O’Brien, Managing Director of Panasonic System Solutions. “We value this type of industry collaboration. It is an essential element of the solution development process which helps all stakeholders to determine if technology can provide scalable solutions to the problems faced.”

“What’s clear is that passengers know that things can go wrong and therefore want information in real time so that they can make the right decisions about their journey. What the forum identified is that improved, automated, real time information on topics such as alternatives routes or modes of transport available, can keep frustration levels down and customer satisfaction levels high. It’s entirely realistic that technology can help to address these challenges.”