BtoB Rail caught up with Linda Tsai, President, Industrial IoT, Group Advantech…
What developments/business opportunities is Advantech seeing in the railway industry?
For the railways and all transport modes we are seeing plenty. Two areas specific to rail are safety and the user experience.
Another trend we have identified is improving the user experience. Passengers today don’t want to waste time queuing for tickets, information, and other related services. Here a business opportunity is using artificial intelligence [AI] for facial recognition for payment and ticketing. To enable this, either governments introduce the technology or you need to obtain customer opt-in – it depends on the country in question.
Opting in means customers allow their data to be used in exchange for travel benefits, e.g. not having to queue for tickets, immediate billing. They agree to provide an ID photo and their credit card details in exchange for these kinds of fast-track services.
A further user experience area that is growing is connectivity. Some passengers still want to use Wi-Fi on trains because their 4G phone packages are expensive. So many rail operators today are looking to improve the travel experience by providing web access and content, which also gives them an edge over their competitors.