Artificial intelligence (AI) is perhaps one of the most sought after technologies available on the market. Although we have yet to see the full extent of its potential, AI is already seen by experts as being a game-changer for every sector, including public transport.
Many professionals in our industry have been actively working on developing new ways to use big data with the aim of increasing efficiency of passenger transport and improving urban mobility. In fact, this topic has been drawing a lot of attention among public transport professionals, so much so, that it will be the theme of a panel discussion taking place during the opening day of IT-TRANS, one of the most important IT-related public transport conferences and exhibitions in the world. Presented by KMK and UITP, IT-TRANS will be held in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 6 to 8 March 2018.
AI will also be discussed on the closing day of IT-TRANS and given the interest it has generated in the recent months and years, one can easily imagine that it will be well featured in the different exchanges between delegates attending the event.
A pathfinding mindset
A shining example of the growing attraction of artificial intelligence and big data for the public transport industry is the recent partnership signed by the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO) and GIRO, a maker of public transport optimisation software with clients in 26 countries. Both being leading experts in their fields, their decision to join forces sends a clear signal on the importance that data science, AI and operations research is likely to have in providing public transport services that are better aligned with demand.
This partnership, based in Montréal, an increasingly important global hub of AI research, is promising to bring new innovative solutions to further advance AI and the use of big data in the public transport sector. Our industry has always been driven by innovation and once again this pathfinding mindset will keep pushing public transport towards a more reliable, more efficient and more customer-centric service.