How technology is changing the world of transit
On 10th September we held an event that looked at how technology is changing the world of transit.
We were lucky to have four amazing speakers from Mastercard, JustPark, what3words and Uber who discussed how technology is impacting their segment of the market and gazed into the future of how tech can shape transit further and the impact this can have on consumers and the world.
Our first speaker Will Judge from Mastercard discussed what trends he felt were changing transit – especially in terms of payments. Trends like the digitalisation of the user experience, global standardisation and digital integration.
Digitalisation of the user experience – Nowadays people use all manner of devices to access public transport such as the tube. Smart watches, smartphones, rings and contactless cards – the landscape has changed enormously and so Will discussed how transit companies have had to adapt in order to process transactions. Pre-paid products are a thing of the past and the market has now moved towards a pay-as-you go model and it’s all because of technology.
The next trend Will touched upon was the shift from local standardisation to global standards. If you take the London Underground today, the payment gates accept all of the world’s payment standards. London had 18 million visitors last year and so switching to contactless makes it easier for all of these world visitors to use the ticketing technology. Will identified how having this in place enables transit companies to be able to invest in other areas of their business.
Looking into the future of payments in transit, Will disclosed how the world is becoming more inter-connected. The need for cities to be open is only going to grow and grow which means all forms of transit will need to allow for this.
Digitalisation integration is also going to impact the future. Apps are critical and will be more important than in-station staff as times goes on. Will identified the likes of Citymapper and how their role as a mobility-as-a-service app and platform will play out. According to Will, for a mobility-as-a-service company the job’s not done until the app can do the full three stages of: plan, travel and pay.
So who will become top of the mobility brands
The second speaker to take the stage was Oren Peleg from JustPark who talked about the company’s mission in building the infrastructure for mobility.
In a time where governments are pressured to facilitate more public transport, more walking, more cycling and less cars – Oren talked about how technology can be utilised to make the most of the ‘spaces’ we have.
Oren disclosed the challenges of retailers with empty car parks. JustPark has the technology to fix this problem, with their digital interface helping companies manage their car parks using their own car parking management systems.
All mobility models that are emerging are digital and that means the payment processing system for car parks and spaces needs to be the same. Customers no longer want to pay with coins and so using an app is easier and preferred.
After Oren it was Gigi Etienne from what3words’ turn to speak. What3words is a fantastic innovative solution for the many hundreds of addresses that are the same across the country and around the world.
Gigi explained how at what3words they’ve made GPS co-ordinates human friendly. Same addresses are a common issue for people when travelling to a destination they don’t know and unless they have the exact postcode it’s likely they’ll end up at the wrong one. This can cause headaches for those in the transit industry as people complain to the company even though it’s not their fault.
What3words is an example of how technology can take the friction out of travelling – much like the work we do at Judopay by taking the friction out of payments.
Last but not least to take the stage was Fred Jones, head of mobility at Uber. Fred discussed what was on the horizon for Uber and its customers.
Addressing the problem with transit, Fred highlighted how the problem isn’t the car but how we use it. There are 1.2 billion cars in the world today and the average occupancy is just over 1. This is staggering when you think that 20% of the world’s CO2 comes from cars and 16% of real estate is dedicated just to parking.
That’s why Uber is trying to lead the world of transit into these three sections: Shared mobility, zero emissions and multi-modal transport.
Fred identified the power of sharing and why Uber’s tech stack is dedicated to being successful with the shared mobility mission. Through the power of sharing you could move the same amount of people with just 3% of the transport amount that we have today. Let that sink in. That’s why Uber’s dynamic pool sharing product, Uber Pool, will be ramped up around the world.
The ‘How technology is changing the world of Transit’ event was a great reminder of how technology can not only cater to consumer needs more effectively – but also and more importantly, make the world a better place.