Even in the face of the biggest economic obstacle of the decade, the different trends that are revolutionising the transportation industry are not going away. In fact, just like how it influenced most of the sectors across the globe, the pandemic has hastened the adoption of the different technologies and practises that have been defining up and coming trends within the industry. Here are some of them:
Thanks to the growing awareness of the public over the different needs that each and every person has, more and more industries are paying closer attention to keeping things inclusive – and that includes the transport industry. As highlighted in our previous post ‘How Inclusive Design Could Revolutionise Transport’, the traditional ways of the industry has left more than 20% of the people in the UK with disabilities unable to drive. This then left them with no choice but to become reliant on public transportation systems that are also have existing difficulties.
Luckily, this 2020, we can look forward to cars and taxis that are designed to take into account the diverse needs of differently-abled individuals. For instance, the Harrogate Council is pushing for more accessible taxis that would most likely have grab handles, side steps, easy to use restraint systems, lowered floors, ramps and enough actual space to accommodate wheelchairs. Inclusive design is also expected to go beyond just tangible, physical structures and will change how cars operate. Visual displays and voice input interfaces would be able to provide more assistance to all kinds of passengers and thereby improve their overall experience and satisfaction.
Cloud technology has been around for a few years now, and while the transportation industry has been integrating it into their systems for many years, it has never been more influential than today. The cloud not only enabled businesses to enjoy unlimited opportunities for scalability and efficient digital resource management systems. It also improved the flow of information dramatically by allowing stakeholders to have easy access to all sorts of fleet data through comprehensive fleet management systems.
On top of being able to organise data in the most efficient way possible, these fleet management systems are also capable of sending out real time updates about unforeseen delays such as road closures, diversions and severe traffic at busy intersections to both organisations and drivers. Although real-time updates will not be able to reduce the additional time such delays can cause, they would be able to help drivers, especially those that have certain needs to consider, to plan trips better. According to an article by IoT World Today, cloud-based systems would also be able to increase fuel efficiency, optimise maintenance cost, streamline delivery management and improve road safety.
GPS-based Fleet Management
The benefits of GPS fleet management can extend beyond just management and profit margins for fleet companies. Verizon Connect explains that drivers benefit from this technology as well. UK fleet companies of all types can use these solutions to reward, acknowledge and incentivise drivers who perform well. After all, driver scorecards have the ability to measure almost anything, from speeding and idling through to MPG and safety.
With the GPS tracking feature, companies can better manage their workload because these solutions have the capacity to determine work processes and practises that slow drivers down. These systems do this by gathering information on start and finish times, time spent at each job, routes, number of stops, live traffic data and delays. Data collection by GPS-based fleet management technologies does not stop here. They also keep watch of various factors that affect vehicle health such as fluid levels and fault codes. When drivers are incentivised and supported, trips become significantly safer for all road users as well.
Integrated, Frictionless Travel
For most people, travelling is considered a great hassle, regardless of whether you are using a private car or public transport. However, the difficulty and inconvenience grow tenfold for differently-abled passengers. Fortunately, as technologies and innovations continue to advance, the different innate hurdles of travelling – through whichever mode – are being rapidly reduced if not entirely eliminated. For instance, in the case of the US, some cities are experimenting with new infrastructure models and technologies that could lay the foundation for more integrated and more seamless mobility in terminals across the globe.
Here in the UK, London has been leading the shift to a more integrated and frictionless system. Recently, there have been plans to integrate public transit passenger information into apps in order to provide the easiest option for riders of all kinds. The local government, along with its partners, hopes that these steps could help further specialise different transport services based on real-time demand and real-time delays such as congestion and accidents. With the rise of mobility-as-a-service, integrated and frictionless travel would be easier to attain due to the creation of mobility hubs for multimodal transportation and ticketless travel. Although this trend was made primarily introduced to improve optimisation and efficiency, these innovations on micro and macro mobility, as well as last-mile connections, will be of great help to wheelchair-bound passengers to whom highly intricate public transport systems can be difficult to navigate.
The future looks very bright for transportation this year as more companies use technology to improve accessibility and road safety. And as the technology evolves so too will transportation’s ability to provide better services.
Blog Post by Julia Beirut
With over 20 years’ experience producing and selling wheelchair accessible vehicles in the UK, you can be sure that we can offer excellent customer service with a level of knowledge that is completely unrivalled.