What The World Learned About Transport Tech in 2018

Posted 6 months ago · 4 minutes to read

January 28, 2019

Keeping up with the world of technology and data is a never-ending game. When it comes to crafting a smart city management system, it can be overwhelming – not to mention expensive – to try to keep up with the latest trend in tech.

Let’s jump right in and examine some of the best technology trends we noticed over 2018!

Increased uptake of public transport

The biggest infrastructure trend we noticed was an increased uptake in the use of public transport moving around our cities. This is no doubt aided by increasing reliability and regularity with public transport systems across New Zealand. The data confirms this, showing a slow but steady rise in public transport patronage in New Zealand’s two biggest cities, Wellington and Auckland, for example.

Why is that? Wellington’s recent overhaul will allow public transport usage to become more flexible, with increasing regularity. As with all large projects, there have been hurdles along the way. This is no Bob Ross artwork, and multifaceted network changes of this scale take time. With the ultimate goal of improved efficiency and availability of services, passengers will become more encouraged to travel public transport style. Looking at Auckland now, their current implementation of multi-zoned fares allows users to fully embrace their developing hub-and-spoke model. It's easy to forget the bad press that surrounded the incorrect charges of Auckland's AT HOP card. However, the result in both cases is a public transport system that is more reliable, and future-proofed against inevitable growth and usage. This is particularly exciting when we consider the infrastructure projects in the works, to help both these cities – including the much talked about City Rail Link.

Our cities are moving – and it's thanks to public transport.

Transportation automation

While fully autonomous self-driving cars continue to be tested, developments are being rolled out across the luxury segment. This includes the much-lauded autonomy in Tesla cars, but also new developments from Volvo and Audi. 

However, self-driving tech is also poised to become a major driver in our world of public transport. Switzerland is now able to boast having the first fully autonomous public buses, which caters to tourists travelling to Europe’s largest waterfall. Meanwhile, Chinese tech developer Baidu has started production on their own autonomous public buses, intended for Chinese cities.

There is incredible scope here to improve ride reliability and pedestrian safety thanks to automation – but it has to be managed carefully in the future.

Mobile-integrated everything

From payments at your local café, through to tagging on to your bus, 2018 saw the explosion of mobile integration in a number of surprising places.

It is key to understand the relationship between citizens and mobile use in the modern city’s transport system. A smartphone is a tool that helps unlock streamlined traveller journeys through the city in a broad manner of ways. From empowering ridesharing services like Uber, or bicycle-sharing products like ONZO, to giving commuters to-the-minute information about bus arrival times and schedules, mobile integration into core services lies in the heart of how we get around our city.

We anticipate continued growth in mobile integration into a broader number of city services in the future. This could include UX-oriented mobile civic services and even augmented-reality integration to aid in navigation.

The rise of real-time information

This is perhaps the trend we are most excited about. At Radiola, we believe that the collection of real-time data, transmitted through 4G networks is the single greatest tool we have at our disposal to empower any city management system. Indeed, our core products are oriented around using real-time information to empower transport success.

Yet, the deluge of data doesn’t have to stop at public transport. We are able to develop data gathering tools for almost any conceivable reason: understanding pedestrian traffic, keeping an eye on waterway pollution or even tracking petrol prices. All of this data can empower city-residents, enrichening their lives.

Keep an eye focused on the community

Technological trends in cities should be built to serve the community. When it comes to data collection and tech development, we need to understand how we can implement these changes for the better. 

At Radiola we understand the complex relationship between technological development, and how our cities are built and run. Our technology is aimed at improving the way commuters and travellers are able to use a public transport system – collecting real-world information lies at the heart of this technology. If you have questions about how our data systems and smart signage technology could work for your city, contact us today.