Explore A discovery of innovations
in metropoles around the world
In 2016, Keolis launched a one-of-a-kind study, worldwide. The objective of this initiative was to better understand the factors that will help cities create the intelligent transport networks of tomorrow.
The Keolis Digital Mobility Observatory examined mobility uses, trends and innovations in 13 cities across the globe: Abidjan, Boston, Dubai, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, London, Lyon, Melbourne, Montreal, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Stockholm and Tokyo.
Located in some of the world’s most developed regions, as well as emerging ones, these cities all share a proactive approach to smart mobility. The observatory provides insight into issues, needs and expectations associated with digital mobility, including those anticipated by the transport industry today, and those that will play a defining role in shaping travel habits tomorrow.
The study helped Keolis identify 10 aspects to a successful everyday mobility experience, based on 3 universal passenger expectations:
- Journey planning: guidance, information, multimodality and ticketing.
- Worry-free travel: basic requirements such as safety or assistance, as well as the notion of ‘productive travel time’ – or making time spent on public transport more useful or enjoyable.
- A more human travel experience: the emergence of a new passenger-operator relationship model, thanks to the multiplication of communication channels, hyper-personalisation of customer relations and the development of collaborative, participatory and community-based approaches.
A multitude of guidance solutions exist, from basic support to cutting-edge innovations:
- Provide step-by-step, door-to-door guidance (pocket GPS), integrating all transport modes. The majority of mobile apps focus on this requirement, but with varying results. There is considerable scope for improvement in this area;
- propose a greater choice of itineraries or a combination of several transport modes, including cycling, public transport services, driving, parking facilities or walking to provide passengers with alternative itineraries that are adapted to their individual needs;
- provide contextualised guidance that simplifies accessibility, especially for passengers who have difficulty reading maps or interpreting urban signage;
- take into account profiling, personalisation or specific vulnerabilities when providing guidance;
- adapt to high tech tools such as smartphones or collective digital media, as well as low tech tools, for example SMS or connected public terminals;
- welcome community and collaborative use; encourage citizens’ collective input to develop the best itineraries.
This application provides traffic information and tips on getting around Montreal’s bus, metro and suburban train network.
Customers can purchase transport tickets via this electronic wallet system and use them on all public transport modes.
This app provides Hindi translation, crowdsourcing and real-time traffic information, as well as an innovative function that guides passengers based on storefronts, buildings or other notable urban landmarks.
Data from mobile sensors provides passengers with real-time air quality updates and suggests itineraries to help them avoid the most polluted areas.
Moovit – Pokemon Go
This itinerary search app uses virtual reality to help passengers reach their destination – with a little help from a Pokemon.
This solution is the perfect companion for car drivers and public transport passengers, thanks to a wealth of functionalities such as timetables, optimised itinerary suggestions, taxi bookings, or parking space availability.
Citizens’ expectations in terms of information and guidance are relatively similar: passengers want simple, easy, reliable, real-time itinerary suggestions, which take into account all available transport options.
A multitude of passenger information apps are currently available. There’s still progress to be made however, particularly concerning the accuracy of real-time information and service availability.
Context is important when providing directions. It’s also important when providing information: passengers expect information to be contextualised (traffic, weather, pollution) and to include clear and practical references. Passenger knowledge is key to providing relevant information that is tailored to their needs.
Today, certain solutions successfully integrate end-to-end journey management functionalities. Digital mobility assistants, such as Keolis’ ‘Plan Book Ticket’ app, allow customers to manage all aspects of their trip via a single app: from itinerary selection, to ticket purchase and validation.
In the not so distant future, the way in which we share information is set to change. In addition to email alerts and SMS, other media such as photos, traffic videos or 3D maps will help make information easier to read, understand and use.
Collaboration is another growing trend. Ordinary citizens are creating and sharing information that can be used not only by fellow passengers, but also to alert key contacts such as employers, family members or teachers to any changes or delays in travel plans.
Email my boss
This application sends an SMS to a selected list of contacts (manager, partner, babysitter, etc.) in the event of disruption or delays on public transport services.
Similar to the social traffic application Waze, this solution allows pedestrians and car drivers to share live information on events, accidents and traffic conditions.
2D and 3D augmented reality visuals are projected on the windows of tram line C in Bordeaux, providing passengers with interactive, real-time information.
Pedestrians and cyclists can view live camera feed to discover the current state of traffic and plan their journey accordingly.
This transit app provides pedestrians or metro passengers with traffic information to help them optimise their itinerary.
This application combines several functionalities: passengers can save favourite journeys and stops, check estimated waiting times and receive information on wheelchair-accessible buses.
Multimodality involves combining several transport modes during a single journey. The key is to improve connections between the different modes to simplify citizens’ mobility.
There are many different ways to get around a city. A true multimodal network connects and integrates traditional transport modes with emerging mobility solutions such as autonomous vehicles or bike sharing.
Local municipalities, transport operators and car manufacturers have all developed multimodal initiatives.
This app features a journey planner that integrates public transport options and is included as part of the GPS system on-board certain BMW models. In the event of traffic congestion, the GPS suggests leaving the vehicle in a Park and Ride facility and provides directions to the nearest metro or bike-rental station.
Park & Pedal
Car drivers arriving from the suburbs are directed to a Park and Ride facility on the edge of the city. They can then continue their journey to the centre of Boston by bike.
Walk the Tube
This app provides passengers with estimated walking times between two metro stations, meaning they can choose to catch the train or continue their journey by foot.
This app calculates multimodal itineraries, taking into account current traffic conditions and incidents. Tickets can be purchased directly via the app.
A mobile app that groups together transport options and itineraries from across Finland. Passengers can pay for bus and train tickets, bicycle hire, taxi fares or car rental via a monthly subscription package.
This multimodal app combines 12 different transport modes, including private, public and shared solutions.
Ticketing is an integral part of the travel experience. Passengers want flexibly priced, easy-to-buy, electronic tickets that can be used across the entire transport network. They also appreciate multipurpose solutions that are integrated into a wider public service offer.
Today, customers expect their ticket or travel pass to offer them the flexibility to choose any transport mode and to travel across a wide geographical area.
Flexible pricing is another key requirement of ticketing: travel passes must automatically incorporate different fare zones and transport modes.
Virtual supports will become increasingly common in the future. Accessing transport services using a smartphone or ID card will soon be the norm, and one day we may even be able to board the bus thanks to fingerprint scans or facial recognition.
An additional challenge is to combine ticketing with other local services.
When it comes to services, uses or ways of recharging transport passes, flexible ticketing is necessary to cover every eventuality (validity, family constraints, etc.).
To date, only a few of the above needs have been met, as integrating innovative solutions to existing ticketing systems remains technologically and financially complex.
No more tickets! A book with an integrated QR code allows passengers to travel on the city’s transport network.
Over 90% of Hong Kong residents possess this multiservice card that allows them to travel around the city, as well as access their home or workplace. The card can also be used as a means of payment in a number of shops.
Magic Bus app
Tickets are stored on the passenger’s smartphone, thanks to a simple SMS system.
This mobile app can be used on public transport or to book a taxi or parking space.
This pre-paid multimodal card is linked directly to the passenger’s bank account.
Passengers purchase tickets online and simply show their SMS confirmation to board the bus.
Safety is a priority for everyone. The presence of police officers or security guards and technological surveillance measures, such as video and audio recording or GPS tracking, all play an essential role in ensuring people feel safe and reassured.
Today, public safety relies heavily on security camera surveillance. Tomorrow, new innovative digital solutions are set to flourish.
The development of Open Data means new ways of sharing information are beginning to emerge. Residents can consult virtual maps highlighting unsafe areas or dangerous times to travel. Innovations include solutions specifically designed for female passengers (the most frequent victims of harassment or assault), or children travelling alone.
Consented GPS tracking is becoming increasingly popular: passengers allow an app to pinpoint their exact location and share information with family members in the event of an assault, attack or other incident.
Digital technology has led to the development of SOS solutions. Easy-to-use video, telephone and chat functionalities, and even an integrated ‘panic’ button on mobile phones mean passengers can quickly request assistance in the event of an emergency.
This mobile phone ‘panic’ button locates the caller and contacts the police in the case of an emergency. The feature is set to become mandatory for all devices sold in India, from basic handsets, through to the latest smartphones.
This solution maps neighbourhood crime levels. Data is updated in real-time using official sources, as well as community input.
Just shake it
In the event of a heart attack or stroke, victims just have to shake their smartphone to send an alert to emergency services and family members. The app pinpoints their exact location and provides respondents with important information, such as any medical allergies.
This site uses crowdsourcing to identify potential dangers such as protests, uprisings or natural catastrophes. Information is displayed in real-time using a virtual map.
This app is designed to help citizens stay safe when travelling by taxi. The passenger’s family can track their journey in real-time and users can activate a ‘panic’ button in the event of danger.
This app is designed to increase inhabitants’ awareness of the numerous assaults that take place across the city. Victims and eyewitnesses can report assaults via email, SMS, Facebook or Twitter.
Just like guidance and information services, assistance solutions ensure passengers feel supported throughout their journey.
Digital assistance solutions such as step-by-step guidance, interaction with an operator, family members or the local community, or specific support for tourists or individuals with reduced mobility mean passengers need never feel alone or isolated during a journey.
However, assistance solutions aren’t a priority for cities today and therefore relatively few solutions currently exist.
Traffic lights embedded in the pavement of this German town prevent ‘Smombies’ -Smartphone Zombies or smartphone-obsessed pedestrians – from stepping out in front of an oncoming tram.
Residents help guide other locals and tourists using their smartphone.
This iBeacon badge lights up pink when a pregnant woman boards a bus, prompting other passengers to give up their seat for her.
This on-demand public service provides door-to-door assistance for the physically disabled or visually impaired.
Share travel plans as well as handy tips and hints with friends and fellow tourists.
This app translates thousands of place names from English to Chinese, meaning local taxi drivers always understand where you want to go.
‘Productive time’ is the notion of ensuring that time spent travelling is a pleasant or useful experience, rather than something to be endured.
Smartphones offer a plethora of ways to make use of time spent on public transport. Many transport networks however don’t provide the 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi connections necessary to access the Internet and take full advantage of the device’s functionalities.
In addition to a reliable Internet connection, the next key challenge will be to provide passengers with entertainment content (reading, music, gaming, etc.) and practical services (shopping, sport, etc.).
A variety of solutions are already available to keep passengers occupied: they can eat, read, work out, sing, play or shop.
These interactive digital walls in the corridors of the city’s metro system provide passengers with a smart online shopping experience.
Passengers can order a pizza during their train journey and have it delivered at the stop of their choice.
Metro staircases are transformed into virtual pianos – an innovative way to encourage passengers to take the stairs instead of the lift.
This offline application uses sources such as Wikipedia to provide information, photos and comments on areas crossed during a plane journey.
Sport shop ‘1Rebel’ has transformed a suburban bus into a mobile gym, meaning passengers can work out during their journey.
Passengers can scratch and sniff special posters at entrances to the New York subway for a welcome breath of fresh air.
A variety of information channels must be employed to ensure every passenger’s needs are answered.
Information must be accessible to everyone, whether they prefer online solutions or more traditional communication channels. However, 95% of innovations today focus on personal digital equipment. Low-tech media shouldn’t be forgotten, as not everyone is a high-tech junkie.
Another challenge is to build on the possibilities offered by peer-to-peer support. Passenger communities play an important role in producing and spreading information. The trend for peer-to-peer support is growing quickly and constitutes a complementary support to the work of customer-facing staff and customer-relationship representatives.
In addition to smartphone-based services, public spaces and street furniture can also serve as interactive digital supports. What’s more, they have the added advantage of being free, collective and accessible to all.
Rixi Rickshaw App
Residents in this Pakistani city can order a taxi-rickshaw by simply sending a SMS.
Wi-Fi terminals and interactive digital kiosks help users get their bearings in the Big Apple.
This interactive solution uses augmented reality to project real-time passenger information onto the windows of the tram.
Take a break on one of these innovative solar-powered benches to charge your smartphone, access Wi-Fi or make a donation to charity (electronic payment).
One digital terminal, four smart functionalities: information on local attractions; up-to-date weather forecast; advice on how to reach your chosen destination; and a QR code to save the itinerary to your smartphone.
Real-time passenger information is projected onto pavements and public buildings.
Personalisation is central to a successful passenger experience: information, guidance and assistance solutions must be tailored to individual needs.
Location data and information on interactions provided by social networks and connected objects will play an increasingly important role in the development of personalised alerts and services, tailored to the expectations of each individual.
The challenge for the future is to ensure ethical profiling becomes the norm. Co-profiling or collaborative profiling initiatives encourage passengers to share data in exchange for tangible service benefits, while respecting their right to privacy.
Only a few initiatives that offer a personalised, interactive, real-time experience are currently available today.
This itinerary suggestion app uses passenger profiling to connect users with people and places that may interest them via a bike, car and journey sharing system. The solution hasn’t been commercialised yet.
WHIM app MMAS
This monthly travel package covers passengers’ complete mobility needs, including car rental and taxis.
Smart Vending machine
Vending machines on the public transport network offer passengers snacks and drinks according to their weight and age.
This solution uses a breathalyser to analyse blood alcohol levels – too high and drivers are advised to order a minicab.
Body scanning technology is used to analyse the physique, age, sex and clothing size of people passing by. The application then proposes a selection of clothes on a digital wall.
This vending machine ‘comes alive’ when a potential client approaches. An integrated camera gauges the age and sex of the client and adjusts its drinks offer accordingly.
Robotisation and the dominance of data collection can be counterbalanced by collaboration and transparency. The key is to integrate human, participative, passenger-based initiatives into data collection approaches.
Collaborative initiatives and digital solutions targeting citizens’ wellbeing help counteract the perceived ‘Big Brother’ effect often associated with digital technology and statistical data.
Two notable trends are emerging. The first is based on crowdsourcing and the invaluable involvement of passenger-ambassadors. The second uses digital technology to simplify access to human assistance for the most vulnerable users.
Digital technology also helps foster the development of new transport modes. Personal and individual modes have been supplemented by shared and collective transport solutions.
Numerous apps exist that leverage information provided by residents and passengers.
This app encourages inhabitants and passengers to share their ‘smart itinerary’ tips.
Portable air quality devices worn by volunteer cyclists provide a real-time picture of urban pollution levels in the Chilean capital.
Marre des chauffards
Citizens can use this app to photograph and comment instances of reckless driving and post them on the net.
Google Maps Makers
Residents of this Indian city help improve the Google Map of their city.
Train Tracker App
This application provides up-to-date information on any delays on the city’s rail network during rush hour, thanks to live updates provided by passengers.
See Clic Fix App
Citizens can use this app to report matters such as transport network problems, defective lighting or potholes. The information is then transmitted to the relevant parties so issues can be resolved rapidly and efficiently.