Leveraging advanced analytics to successfully steer trains into the future
Sommersemester 2019 - SmarTride - Student Start-up Project
In a world where speed and efficiency are of the essence, we aim to reduce unnecessary time exposure in train transportation to make transportation processes for companies as well as for consumers more enjoyable.
The mission is to make use of collected data, to analyze it and to create a lean railway performance based on predictions of passenger behavior. Overall, we strive to modernize the passenger experience of public transport.
Due to the long existence of the railway industry, this sector obtained an antiquated image. In order to overcome the megatrends of digitization, individualization and urbanization and to remain relevant as a railway company, innovation is needed.
There is a lot of unused potential to make the train service more efficient, reduce delays, predict passenger behavior and therefore also make the passenger experience more pleasant.
Often everyone on a train platform uses the same entrance and subsequently tries to squeeze into an overcrowded compartment, while other sections of the train remain virtually empty. In many cases, this chaotic boarding situation prevents trains from leaving the train stations on time. This, in turn, is one of the main reasons for train delays.
By measuring occupancy in real-time, collecting and connecting data and displaying information via an easy-to-use platform we are able to shorten stopping times at stations. Thus, we increase the efficiency of train travel.
To achieve the targets listed above we provide not only a software but also the hardware. We use CCTV cameras placed at each entrance and a people-counting-system to measure the current occupancy of the carriage. Furthermore, we consider various types of data in addition to occupancy information, such as ticket sales, clicks on company websites, special events and weekdays. Therefore, we provide our customers with predictions of future occupancy with the help of a reliable algorithm.
Channels, Customers and Competitors
We will generate our revenue by two different streams. First, we sell the hardware to customers for €13.000 per compartment and then, we charge a monthly fee of €250 for the software license.
Rail operators are the target customers for our solution. For initially implementing our service we chose ÖBB due to its high market shareand, in a further step, we plan to expand it to Westbahn as well, since both companies showed interest in our service.
Right now, there are no competitors in Austria which offer the same solution we do. However, there are some providers abroad offering similar services, but so far they do not target the Austrian market.
The USP of SmarTride
We reduce the stopping times of trains at each station. Furthermore, we are collecting data and displaying information via an intuitive B2B platform. Our solution could make real-time reservations and dynamic pricing possible. Apart from occupancy we also consider other sources of data, such as special events and ticket sales for creating the algorithm and thus are able to facilitate long-term fleet management and route planning.