Technology tried and tested by the construction industry is set to be used to create a passenger orientation guide (POG) to help travellers navigate stations and trains in a post-covid-19 world.
The guide is being developed by 360-degree content provider Mission Room and TransPennine Express (TPE). In construction, Mission Room has worked with 3D Repo to create an immersive 4D learning environment for the Balfour Beatty Vinci joint venture working on HS2. Mission Room and TPE have worked together on other projects over the last 18 months that have focused on using immersive technology to help develop staff skills to improve passenger service.
The POG is intended to help reduce passenger anxiety and explain the specific parts of the station and train that relate directly to a passenger’s journey. It is said to take the complexity out of a trip and explain it using simple and immersive images.
Based on some simple information the customer provides about their journey and individual circumstances, the POG will build a personalised, visual 360-degree tour that will take them from the station entrance, to their platform, onto the train and to their seat. It will be able to customise tours to take account of personal disabilities and simplify journey preparation.
The technology can be accessed in the home (via the web), in the station (via a touchscreen kiosk) or on a smart phone (as a mobile app).
The POG project will focus initially on routes and trains running out of Huddersfield Station (main image), one of TPE’s main stations.
Once the technology has been proven on this project, it is planned to roll it out more widely across the rail network. It is also planned to offer it to international rail operators.
The POG project has been funded by Innovate UK under the First of a Kind programme, which is designed to bring new technology in to the rail sector.