Transportation: 5 Trends to Watch in the New Decade

Forcelink asset management and workforce management for transportation - Trains

Transportation is a key part of practically every business and their employees’ lives.  And as such, it is key that providers, operators, suppliers and consulting firms are looking for opportunities to innovate. In the last decade, we have seen great innovation within transportation, everything from IoT in transportation (the internet of things) to Artificial Intelligence. In this article, we look at 5 trends that we foresee influencing transportation in the new decade.

IoT – The Internet of Things

While IoT is not new to transportation, our forecast is that it will continue to grow at an accelerated rate with the introduction of 5G. With the next generation of wireless communications already being rolled out in the USA, IoT and 5G are the perfect partners. 5G will unleash IoT in transportation allowing national and international data exchange between devices unlocking new applications. With 5G unleashing IoT in transportation, there will be a need to monitor and maintain connected devices.  Forcelink is an asset and workforce management solution that allows back-office staff to monitor both geographically dispersed assets and field workers. Forcelink automatically receives data from the IoT devices and actions maintenance and repair activities instantly.

With IoT in transportation, maintenance and equipment servicing can be done using preventative maintenance. Such solutions allow operators to minimize negative effects on income and subsidy grants, as well as commuter’s travel time. Thus, the trend to watch is not the introduction of IoT in transportation but rather the scale at which it is adopted. As many operators are beginning to realise the effect on their bottom line. A study conducted in 2019 by MHI shows that 80% of companies in transportation expect to adopt IoT technology over the next 5 years.

With these technologies being implemented it is important to consider a software solution that collects and distributes the actionable insights. It is here that Forcelink is a vital cog in the machine. Forcelink is a mobile field services asset and workforce management software solution that can seamlessly integrate into IoT in transportation solutions. This empowers solution providers, clients and OEMs to manage the workforce that is responsible for attending alarms and maintenance issues.

AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Forcelink asset management and workforce management for transportation - Bus

AI in transportation is a long-existing technology and trend being implemented, with multiple use cases. Over the next decade, the practical use cases for AI in transportation will only increase as the technology has proven to be beneficial. Below we have identified 3 key areas within IPTN (Integrated Public Transport Network), where AI in transportation is having a great impact:

1.    Fare Evasion

AI applications within stations and in vehicles will assist with the concern of fare evasion. Promoting an increase in profitability and improving systems availability. AI in fare evasion can be implemented into existing systems with ease and minimal disruption. Examples include the use of existing camera systems for security applications.

2.    Traffic Management

AI in transportation is currently being used within Smart City Solutions. These solutions cover several AI implementations ranging from number plate and passenger recognition, to real-time data exchange from sensors and cameras. The data from the applications of AI in transportation is then used to calculate and predict traffic patterns and safety hazards. The same data can be used to track vehicle movements and patterns of commuters.

3.    Enhancing Commuter Experience

The past decade has seen IPTN suppliers provide valuable insight around commuter experience using AI in transportation. As we embark upon this new decade it is clear that data is key to building the best experience for commuters. This customer-centric approach is pivotal to improved revenue generation for any transport operator. As such, the last decade has seen suppliers of IPTN solutions adding value-added services to their existing solutions using AI insights. Due to the use of AI and additional technology like IoT, commuters now have real-time information regarding public transport. Time tables delays and payments can be done in a user-friendly manner with a user interface that is simple and easy to navigate.

Implementing Forcelink as an asset and workforce software solution allows for real-time data, reporting and statistics. These can be implemented immediately by sending, receiving and capturing data from the field all within the Forcelink application.

Software and Apps

Take a minute to think about what software has offered the transportation industry in the past decade. Taxi apps, navigational apps, insurance, public transport, online shopping, all playing a factor in the use of transportation. The next decade will see this trend continue to shape the way people use transportation. Everything from ride-sharing to payment methods, software helps people and businesses improve on inefficacies. Hardware can be slow and costly but software is affordable and agile allowing for swift and simple implementation.

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and Account-Based Ticketing (ABT) are trends that are currently major talking points in software. With applications in North America, Europe, Asia and the prospect of being implemented within South Africa.

MaaS is the integration of various forms of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand. A commuter gains value from the use of Maas through a single application that provides access to mobility. Thus, all a single payment channel can be utilised while providing the commuter with the best value proposition.

ABT is a transport ticketing solution that allows for monetary value and ticking information to be stored on a back-office system. This allows commuter data to be captured and synchronised across various modes of transport, providing one holistic view of the customer.

Forcelink is an asset and workforce software solution that has a proven track record within 4 major BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) contracts within South Africa. Our software enables the transfer of real-time data from field works to be pulled through to reporting. In turn, this allows for decreased downtime and increased productivity while managing field staff and subcontractors and their SLA’s. Forcelink has also shown how effective data from the field can increase project delivery and variation order management.

Environmental Considerations

The next trend that we find to be increasingly important is environmental considerations. Both governments, businesses and commuters have become increasingly conscious of global warming. Electrical passenger vehicles are only one area of focus, the trend is also gaining traction within logistics and electrical public transportation. This is pivotal to transformation, as the initiative is being driven by both businesses and the greater public. We also see an increase in R&D from large automobile producers, as they introduce more electrical heavy-duty vehicles.

Working from Home and Commuting

Forcelink asset management and workforce management for transportation - public transport

The final trend worth mentioning is the adoption of the work from home culture. According to a study conducted in 2018, 70% of people claim to work from home at least once a week. Technological advancements have afforded more and more organisations to find benefit in allowing employees to work from home. There are now countless digital resources that enable employees to work from home and as such will influence commuting. These advancements have also enabled employers to be more flexible around working hours, allowing employees to travel after peak time traffic. All of which affects the need for personal vehicles as people find benefit in using ride-share and public transportation.

These are just a handful of trends that will affect the transportation industry. There are however many factors to consider as the industry is vast and each sector has a unique design. As Forcelink we specialise SaaS (software as a service) mobile field services within ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). Providing organisations with asset and workforce software solution. We have worked with government organisations, fare collection, rail, BRT systems and other consulting firms. Our asset and workforce software solution connect your back-office staff with those in the field. Allowing you the ability to reduce inefficacies, drive cost savings and ensure that opportunity costs are optimised. Contact us today for a free demo and let us show you how we can impact your businesses bottom line.


Forcelink in Transportation