"Notably, the biggest challenge is NOT the technology. All the pieces are already in place, or soon will be, for better engagement between passengers and trains. The main challenge is providing services with sufficient value to motivate the passengers to interact and participate."
Today SmartRail World speaks to Rick Pearson, Senior Solutions Engineer at Quester Tangent, a leading independent supplier of monitoring and diagnostic systems in North America. Quester Tangent has been providing train electronics and software solutions for the passenger rail transit industry for over 20 years. They work with the world’s major train manufacturers and transit authorities, with offerings including monitoring and control products, on-train displays, event recorders, communication and data networks, and passenger information systems.LU: Thanks for the time today Rick, just how quickly are the demands of both passengers and the rail transit industry changing?
RP: As the saying goes: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Our passengers demand the same experience today as in the past: reliable transportation, personal safety and a comfortable environment. Transit authorities can find meeting these needs more challenging due to the increased use of technology, automation and computerization on board the trains and the wayside. Innovative approaches are required to maximize the use of these high-tech systems to improve the passenger experience and increase rider comfort.
LU: What are some of the challenges in managing information to improve the passenger experience?
RP: Notably, the biggest challenge is NOT the technology. All the pieces are already in place, or soon will be, for better engagement between passengers and trains. The main challenge is providing services with sufficient value to motivate the passengers to interact and participate. For example, the popular application “Gas Buddy” works because there is a direct connection between the involvement of the traveller (entering the gas price at their local pump) and the benefit (getting cheaper gas!).
LU: What do you see as the biggest development for metro networks in the next five years?
RP: One of the biggest developments continues to be the increasing computerization and automation of rail transit systems. For many years, this surge in technology has made trains more complex to operate and significantly more difficult to troubleshoot and repair. I think, however, that over the next five years, trains will once again become simpler to operate and maintain as we implement better integration and information handling techniques.
LU: Thanks very much, looking forward to hearing more in Charlotte next week!
Rick Pearson will be an expert speaker and Quester Tangent an Associate Sponsor of SmartRail USA (29-30th October, Charlotte, NC) alongside senior executives from San Francisco Municipal Transportation agency (SFMTA), Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), Metra Chicago and many more. Quester Tangent is the largest independent North American supplier of train electronics and software solutions for the rail transit industry. The company offers modular and tailored products to rail vehicle manufacturers and transit authorities that enable the efficient movement of people and goods. Find them at D1 in the SmartRail USA Expo hall. To learn more about Quester Tangent product offerings visit:QuesterTangent.com