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Journey Management : from A to Z

John McCarthy | 29 Jan 2015 | Comments

Traffic Management, Network Management, Network outcomes, Transport Operations, Smart Travel – our world is flooded with terms, often conflicting and often confusing. That said, I believe it is important to introduce another unifying term to the conversation, Journey Management.

Journey Management must be the umbrella term that covers all of the above, linking the person, the mode of transport, their ticketing needs and the traffic authority together. But what does this really mean and how is it different?

Journey Management is a “system of systems” approach to creating an ambient and responsive capability across all of the different journey types and users. Technology provides the capability, but people and their tailored needs and requirements must be placed at the heart of everything we do. Scenarios where freight management schedules are linked to traffic light adaptions, dynamic priority combined with electric vehicles, automatically responsive junctions to dynamic loading, including cycle and pedestrian priority, are all either possible or in the early stages of implementation. Journey Management will help to achieve this.

Interoperability, long used as a term for technical discussion is just as important now but from a different perspective. Services delivered for people, places and goods will need to be truly interoperable.

Journey Management is made up of three key linked area, namely the traffic authority and its network control, a collaboration hub between public and private bodies and thirdly, and often forgotten is customer experience, i.e. the ability to use mobile ticketing, link to their social or personal needs etc. Far too often companies and authorities focus on just one area but it is clear, for a sustainable and scalable service to be provided, a solution for one of these areas cannot be delivered without consideration of the other two. It should not matter whether you are walking, cycling, driving, managing the network, delivering goods etc., the journey and all of its parts must operate together. Obviously this is no easy task and in turn it creates new business models and opportunities around the provision of ‘services’.

For example, automobile companies such as BMW have stated that their business model is changing and they look to be considered in the future as a Mobility Provider, not just a maker of automobiles, and are actively looking at ways to offer complete intermodal journey management as a service.

Ticketing, and the capability offered through services such as ApplePay, is on the cusp of changing to a mobile centric environment, which brings with it the ability to combine various data sets and applications together under a single umbrella of journey management.

However, it is clear that no one technology or sensor will be capable of delivering a multimodal and comprehensive end to end solution. Instead, a suite of technologies and sensors, both fixed and virtual will be at the heart of its operation. Traditional silos of data can now be broken down allowing information to flow more freely. Advances in systems architecture and back end integration allow for analysis and crunching vast amounts of data in real time.

People, whatever their mode and whatever the reason behind their journey, will benefit by having personalised and intelligent information (current and predictive) available at the touch of the button. Welcome to the world of Journey Management!

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