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  1. Government Computing
August 14, 2019

Hitachi Rail trials smart ticketing technology to address ticket barriers in public transport

Global transport specialist Hitachi Rail said that it is testing smart ticketing technology using which sensors on trains detect an app on passengers’ smartphones at the time of boarding.

Image: Hitachi Rail is testing its new smart ticketing technology. Photo: Courtesy of Hitachi Rail.

The smart ticketing technology has been designed so that passengers do not have to remove their smartphones from their pockets or bags. The technology is also expected to put an end to station barriers and signal an end to queues at the barrier or ticket machine.

Furthermore, the correct fare will be automatically charged from the passengers.

Hitachi Rail said that it has already demonstrated that the smart ticketing technology ensures that the passengers are not overcharged.

The smart ticketing technology is set to go under rigorous testing for Trenito Transporti in Trento, Italy. Hitachi Rail hopes to bring the technology to the UK for use on trams, buses and trains.

The company said that it is exploring various methods of advancing the smart ticketing process using sensor beacon technology.

One of the methods it revealed is that the sensors will be capable of detecting a travel app installed on a smartphone, thereby permitting a passenger to enter a bus or train without showing a paper ticket, bankcard or smart card.

The sensors can also be designed to potentially detect the smartphone in a passenger’s bag or pocket at both departure and arrival.

According to Hitachi Rail, long queues and bottlenecks around ticket barriers can be avoided through installation of smart sensors at the entrance to platforms or vehicles.

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The company claims that the smart ticketing technology can be applied to all types of public transport such as buses, trains and trams, thereby helping in faster boarding times.

Hitachi Rail managing director Karen Boswell said: “This technology has the ability to transform public transport in every corner of the country, from rural buses to city centre train stations. The common travelling woes of queues at ticket machines or trying to find the cheapest fare could be solved without even needing to reach for your pocket.

“We are now beginning to test this technology and looking at the possibility of one app working across large stretches of a country. For example, a passenger could use the app to take a bus in their local town and a train elsewhere in the country all in one day.”

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