3Squared shortlisted for Station Master backing
3Squared have been shortlisted in a competition that aims to use technology to improve the experience of rail passengers. The finalists will be pitching for a share of the £1million investment fund, provided by the Enabling Innovation Team, which looks to accelerate innovation in British railways.
‘Station Master’ will use software similar to that used in Google Maps, to accurately lay-out an individual train station and create a floor plan of the entire site. Users will be able to input where they need to be in the station and the app will use the phones built-in GPS to locate the users current position in the station. The quickest route between the two will be created, with options to take into account any disability that the user may have. A map and step-by-step directions will be displayed, as well as voice commands for the visually impaired.
The software is being trailed at Sheffield train station, with plans to move onto Derby and the newly refurbished Nottingham. Should the trial be successful, the software could map out the floor plans of the 140 stations across the East Midlands Trains network. The train operator, based in Derby, runs services across the country, stretching as far as London, Liverpool, Crewe and Norwich.
The app is currently in development and will have a host of features designed to improve the customer experience. It will be able to tell the passenger whereabouts to stand on the platform, based on whether they have a first or second class ticket or if they require disabled access. Users will also be able to input their destination and Station Master will automatically find the next departing train and provide a route to that platform.
Tim Jones, Managing Director of 3Squared, believes Station Master has a host of benefits not only for the passenger, but also for the rail operators. “The app will be a great way to gather valuable passenger experience feedback for each station. We anticipate that it will also have a positive effect on the results of the National Passenger Survey as well as help to implement the TSI: PRM (Technical Specification for Interoperability: People of Reduced Mobility) European standards”.
“To be shortlisted in this competition is fantastic news and we are looking forward to presenting our idea to a team of industry experts at the live event in London. It would be great to get the backing of the EIT and roll out the app to stations across the country.”
Station Master is the latest app created by 3Squared for the rail industry, although this is the first aimed at the passengers, with the business decribed as one of ‘moves and shakers’ of the industry by EIT.