Findings from a new body of research into how London commuters feel about the future of public transport has shown broad support for the continued development of the state-of-the-art technologies that underpin them. Those taking part in the research conducted by Exterion Media, which polled more than 1,000 people, were asked questions relating to ticketing and payments, the effects of technology on the city, and the modes of transport still on the drawing board.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, an overwhelming majority of participants supported enhancements that enhance the city landscape (91%), with more than three-quarters (74%) believing that technological advancements will enhance how they travel around the city. Also, reflecting the public’s growing awareness of the environment, close to every respondent (97%) said they supported technological advancements that use cleaner energy and a similar percentage (93%) felt positive about any technological advancements that would help reduce pollution.
As for how passengers will pay for their journeys over the next decade, the clear favourite with 70% was the contactless payment that was introduced in 2014 that enables customers to use their bank cards at the ticket barriers. Just behind, 61% felt that the existing Oyster smartcard payment system would still be in place, while smartphone payments make up just half (51%). Taking a peek into the future, fingerprint technology (29%) and facial recognition (23%) would also provide another avenue for passengers, they thought.
As for the futuristic modes of transport, which some of the more positive respondents believe could one day coincide with unveiling of Hyperloop and planes on rails, respondents to Exterion Media’s poll gave their opinions on the monorail system SkyTran; transit elevate buses (TEB), drone taxis and automated, self-driving cars. More than three-quarters felt that efficiency would be improved with SkyTran and TEBs compared with trains and buses, while they were less convinced on the efficiency savings of drone taxis and self-driving cars compared with today’s cabs and cars, at 53% and 41%.
Commenting on the research findings, the head of research at Exterion Media, Nicola Barrett, said that it proved a clear sense of optimism amongst commuters in London that the transport industry could benefit their lives. “They prefer technology that will make the capital a cleaner and greener place to live, as well as those that enhance the city landscape – great news for transport operators that embrace technology to make journeys safer, more efficient and more enjoyable.”
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