Development Trends in Intelligent Transport Services: The Near Future and Next-Generation Solutions

The emergence and growth of real-time systems, mobile services and ever more comprehensive service packages are all core trends of intelligent transport in the near future. Tieto’s Head of Intelligent Transport Systems Teemu Vähäkainu describes how to capitalise on the benefits of these technology trends in the years to come.
Teemu Vähäkainu, Head of Intelligent Transport Systems, Tieto, tries out Google glass.
Teemu Vähäkainu, Head of Intelligent Transport Systems

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) aims to double public transport ridership by 2025. Many municipalities want to increase the allure of public transport.

Intelligent transport services (ITS) can help decrease congestion, lower overall traffic emissions and minimise negative environmental impacts. You can make traffic more environmentally friendly by both decreasing the number of cars and making traffic flow smoother through the use of strategies such as traffic signal priorities.

More personal, more real-time

The use of real-time data will change ITS over the next couple years.

You can design trips and routes more dynamically and reliably with real-time information. Passenger information and ticket pricing will becomes more dynamic as predictive analysis and data from different transport forms becomes available in real-time. Congestion and traffic bottlenecks can be reduced. The value of real-time data increases in a variety of unforeseen situations.

The demand for digital services grows dramatically in the short term. Communications and information becomes increasingly mobile, which gradually leads to more personalised services.

Public transport pricing and dynamic payments in the back-end

Intelligent back-end systems allow for easy payment and new kinds of pricing models.

Comprehensive payment solutions simplify the process of paying for services. Separate travel passes will give way to standardised payment devices, enabling payments with mobile phones or contactless credit cards.

Soon, this technological intelligence will spread to back-end systems and payment cards or mobile phones, serving as user IDs. Pricing will take place in the back-end, dynamically and in real time.

Better user experience with seamless transfers across operating regions

Services based on user IDs will centralise payment models and facilitate seamless chains of trips. That ensures an overall smoother transport experience. A single travel pass will soon allow effortless, unimpeded public transport across the operating regions of multiple transport operators.

“Mobility as a service” is a vision in which all intelligent public transport services are purchased via the same channel, possibly at a fixed price. A single monthly fee for intelligent transport services can encompass, for example, downtown parking, public transport services within a specific region and possible congestion fees or traffic-related taxes.

Connectivity and architecture in the next decade

Systems will first learn to understand each other and then actually use each other’s information. Eventually, different systems will be replaced by a centralised system that enables both a comprehensive operator model as well as a variety of applications that efficiently utilise big data. Technological progress integrates our devices directly into our surroundings.

In the future, solutions will be purchased as comprehensive services. Helsinki Regional Transport (HRT) is one of the pioneers of this trend. Tieto is currently working on a comprehensive solution for HRT—an all-in-one information, ticket and payment system.

In next-generation solutions, systems will be compatible and connected. Very shortly, we will aggregate real-time data from different forms of transport. These data sets will help make real-time decisions and monitor traffic flow. The same big data services will also provide information for passengers, ensuring seamless public transport transfers. Data from vehicular systems is sharable with stakeholder systems, e.g.the Transport Agency, which can use such data to analyse traffic flow.

In the 2020s, the focus on devices will decrease. As more functionalities are transferred to the back end, vehicular devices and systems are simplified, or vanish altogether. Today, separate intelligent transport devices are already no longer needed, as the necessary information and location technology is installed into vehicles on the factory floor. The Internet of vehicles has already been born.

In brief, the next few years will bring significant progress across many different facets of intelligent transport. Their total impact is extremely interesting, producing both efficiency and many new business opportunities.

The future of intelligent transport

- Sustainable

- Personalized services

- Seamless chains of trips

- Mobility as a service (MaaS)

- Cloud services