3 ways software helps the transport sector

Software to streamline processes, improve the quality of real-time data and unify customer experiences is transforming the transport sector.

Developments in software solutions are changing the face of transport as we know it, and paving the way for more efficient and convenient ways to travel.

With increasing demands and expectations from passengers, software is offering the solutions to create transport services that are innovative and responsive to consumer needs.

Here are three ways that software is helping the transport sector:

1) Streamlining processes

Aviation and airports are probably one of the best examples of how the transport sector has embraced software to streamline processes and automate tasks.

For example, when a passenger decides to take a flight a large part of the process can be done autonomously. Passengers can search for and book flights unassisted via an airline’s website or application. Prior to or on arrival at the airport, passengers can then check-in to the flight themselves through an online check-in system or via self-service kiosks within the airport. They also have the ability to drop off their own luggage and send it off for baggage handling.

Essentially, a passenger does not have to interact with airline or airport staff until they have to go through security because the entire check-in process is now automated through software solutions.

Australian airline Qantas has automated several processes to give passengers a faster and more efficient experience when checking into a flight. Passengers can check-in and drop off their bags at ‘Auto Bag Drops’ without having to stand in long queues in front of check-in counters.

According to ICM Airport Technics, the company that developed and installed the new IT and baggage logistics systems, even inexperienced passengers have managed to drop off their luggage in 35-40 seconds. Qantas’ automated baggage drop system is now operating at all major Australian airports including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth.

The purpose of this automatic baggage drop system was to cut waiting times for air travellers in half, said Gabriella D’Alessandro, head of IT, QA Domestic and Operations at Qantas. Qantas passengers now also handle the entire check-in process, from booking flights online to seat selection, printing boarding passes and dropping off baggage.

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Transportation Industry Train

2) Improving the quality of real-time data

Inoutput built a custom software service for Melbourne tram network Yarra Trams that integrates historical and real-time tram information to provide a more efficient collection and analysis of tram data.

Yarra Trams had been using the Automatic Vehicle Monitoring system (AVM) to receive constantly-streaming tram data via radio transmissions which they used to analyse and monitor tram performance and produce reports.

The AVM system had to read data via a series of binary files it wrote to disk at predefined intervals, before running this information through a series of custom programs to convert them into readable files for Yarra Trams staff to use.

This process was mostly manual, time-consuming and very labour intensive as it required staff to locate and load large non-readable binary files – a process that could not be automated because the files were so large.

To solve this problem, inoutput built the AVMIS (AVM Integration Services) system for Yarra Trams. AVMIS provides a new method of reading real-time tram data by interpreting a constant stream of information (about 1.5 million packets per day). The AVMIS system stores this data in a data warehouse to make it available via an API for consumption by internal applications and other systems such as tramTRACKER.

The AVMIS system has been successful in meeting the demand of integrating data from a legacy system while providing real-time information to provide a more efficient way for Yarra Trams to access, analyse and report on their data.

3) Unifying customer experiences

In Germany, train company Deutsche Bahn offers the ‘Call a Bike’ service which gives passengers a door-to-door transport experience.

The service allows passengers to hire a bike and ride to their closest city train station where they can take a train to their next destination. On arrival at their next German city, they can again hop on a bike and travel to their desired location, whether it be to go shopping, do sightseeing or to commute to work. It has been popular for those looking for an environmentally friendly and flexible way to move around in each city. The bike hire scheme is available in the city centres of Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Cologne, Karlsruhe and Stuttgart. Elsewhere in Germany, the bikes can also be hired at the 40 stations served by ICE trains.

This example of multi-modal transport, where passengers can book and pay for their train fare and bike hire online, shows how two different transport providers have converged to offer customers a unified transport solution.

By embracing web-based technology, transport providers are now able to offer customers a unique and convenient way to travel.

Creating custom software for the transport sector

Inoutput is an experienced software development company that has the knowledge and expertise to create functional software systems and business automation solutions for the transport sector.

With a proven track record in data strategy and creating integrations for legacy systems, inoutput can create software solutions for the transport industry.

Contact us today to find out how we can streamline workflows, improve efficiencies and create custom solutions for transport services. Phone (03) 9016 3066 or send us details via our contact form.