Information has always been a great asset in conducting and developing one’s business. It is one of the reasons why history records some of the most diverse solutions for accurate and rapid transmission of news over long distances. In the pre-computer and pre-telegraph era, the fate of a company could depend on the delay of a letter or on receiving false rumours based on actions that had been taken days or weeks before.
Today, when information moves at the speed of light, filtering news from rumours is crucial, while also providing accurate news in the shortest time. From this standpoint, the transport industry, be it aimed at passengers or goods, is going through an identity crisis. The war to win customers over is no longer waged in terms of transport technologies alone, it also concerns the technologies used to manage information and ensure an obstacle-free travelling experience.
The services provided to the freight transport sector are the speed and quality of goods processing, transport predictability, but more importantly, the opportunity to inform customers, in real time, on the whereabouts and status of their cargo.
In passenger transport, transport mode selection and, later on, operator selection currently depend, to a great extent, on the quality of the information related to travelling, on the way in which the travel can be planned and, last but not least, on the payment method.
Attracting or alienating customers depends on tools that are more sophisticated than those traditionally used in the transport sector. Physical comfort and vehicle speed are often weighed against the new comfort parameters, which have entered the sector from the IT&C field.
The development of route planning and tracking platforms starts to represent a decisive factor in the selection of a service provider. In addition, tariff schemes also have their say in the field of passenger transport. In an era in which the end customer becomes more and more accustomed to permanent interconnection, the existence of electronic, cashless payment and validation systems is one of the determining factors of the decision process. In addition, we live in an age of excessive socialisation, due to the habits created by the most important players of the IT sector.
The low response of carriers or vehicle manufacturers in what concerns the adoption of technologies and services that enable this socialisation might be an obstacle in the successful development of their businesses.
Infotainment is the key word of this second decade of the new millennium. Along with terror and insecurity, infotainment governs our mobility decisions. And in terms of security, even if there were attacks that have rung alarm bells and prompted changes in the operators’ procedures, the challenge of the years to come originates from the shuttle transport sector, where a certain fluency and predictability must be maintained, while also increasing the security of large masses of people.
Information is everything. Those who will be able to provide and manage it properly will win over the customers of the 21st century!
(Featured image: Adobe Stock – stick.adobe.com)