On the 12th May, 2020, 196Destinations attended the Shift2Rail webinar to understand more about what others thought of the future of rail. This event was to be focused more on the traveller experience. We’ll be attending another on the 14th, this time with an emphasis on service providers.
What is Shift2Rail?
Shift2Rail is an EU initiative to increase train travel under the EU Green initiative. More information at: https://shift2rail.org
Webinar: 12th May.
Juan Castro introduced the IP4 initiative, which had a series of demonstrators.
Marco Ferreira (Thales) introduced the technical architecture, and discussed the Barcelona-Madrid Corridor by way of an example of how the app could work.
A scenario by Achim von der Embse (HaCon) in Hannover was introduced.
Then we went quite futuristic with an exciting look into an LBE experience on the Hololens presented by Souheir Mili.
The Shift2MaaS demonstrator was introduced by Daria Kuzmina (UITP). It was great to see Málaga mentioned, with the corridor to Madrid. Marco Comerio (Cefriel) also presented.
Introduced by Ismini Stroumpou, who displayed two multi-modal illustrations of the app’s potential usage in Lisbon and Barcelona. The app covered activities available in travel destinations, tailored to the user’s habits. My-TRAC (or at least a 2nd stage pilot) will be available at the end of June on the Play store .
Questions from the audience
During the presentation, there were several chances for a live Q&A with the presenters.
196 Destinations’ Question: Thank you for introducing the demonstrators. Which of them would cover long distance international train booking i.e. Spain to Germany? i.e. Renfe + Oui + DB.
Answer: As yet, they were not able to say as the data is not available from France yet.
Andy B’s Question: If there is an open framework, will all of the interfaces between system components be documented & published? (to allow for choices at system/component level)
Answer: The system will be proprietary software but with an open framework.
It’s really exciting to be part of the webinar series, and hear about this great work that is going on within the European Union.
It’s important for the health of the planet that we reduce our dependency on flying. And initiatives like Shift2Rail have huge potential as we reboot post-virus, to really make a difference, and make taking the train a much easier experience when dealing with multiple different types of transport from bus, to train, to bike.
It made me feel that I need to do some further research on the high level goals of the project. I also wanted to understand where these new apps are positioned in what is a pretty vast landscape of localised transport apps, and national initiatives, as we try to go international with them. There’s great potential to amalgamate all these apps into one super EU app. I’m not sure yet if these apps will have as many resources as Google Maps has, but perhaps in time the UX can be refined, and there’s real potential for one of these apps to become one of the 5-7 that people regularly use on their phones.
This has been a quickly put-together blog, and we welcome corrections, and additions, in the comments below. We’ll do an update, and also write up the 2nd webinar.
We see 196Destinations as part of the community of international train (and other overland) travellers, and we want to help people travel more this way. This requires a good booking and travel experience with the aid of technology. We would love to get involved and partner with others in this area.
There’s quite a confusing array of Twitter accounts. But here goes:
S2R Connective Project