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5 ways technology is changing the transport industry

We live in very exciting times. Our work in Greater Manchester keeps growing, spurred on by the latest technology. We’ve never been more assured, efficient and intelligent. 

The rest of the UK is changing too. The transport sector is barrelling forward to new, amazing value propositions – all of which seek to improve our lives.

Want to know more about technology developments in the industry? Here are five key developments you should be aware of:

1. Enjoyable journeys on rail and road

Many people want round-the-clock access to the internet, wherever they are. In response, wifi is becoming more available for commercial, public vehicles.

Transport for Greater Manchester is leading the way: our trams have free wireless access, open to anyone who jumps aboard. Commuters can surf the web, watch videos, play apps and listen to music – making the most of their time between trips. It encourages loyalty among customers when other, non-wifi facilities still exist.

2. Better organised deliveries

In the past, delivery companies would operate on good faith, at least where their staff are concerned. But what if negligence or misinformation costs a manager thousands of pounds a year? Telematics software is solving this issue.

Many new cars, trucks and motorcycles are built with telematic features that monitor how a driver is performing on the road. They advise on where the best access is, whether a vehicle is close to its MOT schedule, and the extent of operational damage.

3. Responsive data flows

Everyone by now has heard of Big Data. It’s still readying for take-off; few other changes have been discussed so much when the results are yet to really kick in. We’re edging closer, however, to a set of Big Data networks.

Information will be readily shared between individual transport units and control centres, and contribute to environmental statistics like weather and traffic. When this knowledge is pooled together, customers will experience shorter journey times as the processes become more efficient and responsive to real-world circumstances.

4. Autonomous driving

The days of human drivers are numbered. By 2030 or 2040, we’ll be seeing fleets of autonomous cars on British roads: something that the Department for Transport is very committed to. Right now, we’re witnessing the start of a three-year regulatory review that will explore how driving laws will adapt.

What does this mean? Broadly speaking, delivery, taxiing and logistical transport will be guided by AI, slowly reducing the need for humans in each of these occupations. But that means more jobs for software engineers and testing experts, who can optimise autonomous intelligence.

5. Predicting issues before they arise

Cloud computing and analytics are revolutionary. When used together, they can help forecast a system failure, for instance, or a data breach.

When everything is stored within huge, remote data archives, we can examine past performance to make more accurate estimations in the future. Knowing what may happen is crucial to prepare preventative countermeasures. Disruption and security faults, therefore, are minimised.

Transport for Greater Manchester is ensuring we remain at the forefront of technology trends in the sector.

We have several commendable projects that are worth checking out. One of them is a multi-modal interchange in Bolton, where bus, train, taxi and cycle services will be seamlessly collected in a single area. Another is the Tameside interchange, kitted with full CCTV coverage and dedicated comms rooms, as well as a smart Passenger Information Display with real-time data.

Technological breakthroughs drive our goals for bus, train and tram links in the North West. But we’re always scouting for candidates who can bring something different – and similarly innovative – to what we’re doing.

With an extensive training programme, we ensure your development within our team suits your needs and helps us achieve our Vision and Mission. Face-to-face workshops, webinars and eLearning modules, as well as project work and technical skill building, reflect our commitment to making sure our people are able to realise their full potential.

Think you have the skills for our fast-evolving sector? See what available roles we have, and join us on this transformation to a smarter tomorrow.