Talking the Future of Travel at London Tech Week

I was excited and intrigued to be invited by the Travel Tech Lab and London & Partners to speak at the Future of Travel event last night which was a part of London Tech Week.

This was a tech-led event looking at transport from the outside, rather than a typical transport event.   So this was a great chance for a different, broader perspective and indeed that was what I got!

Split into 2 parts, I was representing the travel and transport industry on behalf of Alstom alongside colleagues from Masabi and Marriott.

The key points we all agreed on were the shift to a digital, connected world focusing a lot more on every individual customer and their experience.  My focus was on the customer-centric provision of mobility opportunities through the application of Mobility as a Service, along with payment in arrears on actual use of transport rather than the payment in advance for a season ticket or a car, bringing the end of the traditional ticketing and fares structures replaced by data-driven new opportunities to provide better travel, more options, greater choice and ultimately a focus on every customer and their needs rather than just selling seats on trains, buses or cars.

The second part was fascinating, with 4 start ups presenting their ideas and work:

Airportr (http://portr.com) who deliver bags to and from the airport for you – enabling, for example, the use of public transport rather than car or taxi to get to and from the airport without the stress of lugging those bags around. Potentially a very exciting possibility for transport colleagues to consider in the future.

What3words (http://what3words.com) have mapped the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares with each square being given a 3 word code.  Essentially you now have an accurate addressing system – indeed Mongolia have adopted it to provide addresses for the country.  So the front door of Alstom’s High Holborn office is at blast.loads.incomes while my home address is work.arrive.hopes – very cool!

Timelooper (http://www.timelooper.com/#home) provides virtual reality on your smart phone, bringing history to life in front of you and showing the history of experience at a particular location.  Fascinating and inspiring.

Flyto (http://www.flyto.io), recent winners of the Travel Tech Lab/Mastercard hackathon, offer the simple and effective premise – stop paying for your flights upfront; start paying in easy, fixed monthly instalments.

All 4 were extremely interesting ideas and I could see an exciting range of uses and applications that could positively benefit and enhance travel and transport in a number of ways.

A great event, fascinating, well done to the Travel Tech Lab

Thanks to @PhotoSpotLand for this photo of me in full flow!

future of travel photo

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