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The rail industry from Trenitalia perspective

June 04, 2013
Author: Philip Martin

The recent blog post 'Are rail passengers getting too much information?' opened a great debate. So we decided to interview Riccardo Santoro from Trenitalia to get his point of view on this topic. 

 

Are rail passengers getting too much information? 

Information is never too much if you don't need to process it. Customers are not data processors. Imagine that you wanted to access a web page. But before that, you needed to know information such computer addresses, network protocols and so on. Would you see yourself as needing such information? Customers are good at problem-solving, but they want to solve their own, not the railway's operator problems. 
 

There is a mechanical aspect of gathering information that ICT systems (Information and Communication Technology) are very good at. We think that we can better process information: we should not artificially make this job easier for us by just reducing the ‘processing’ to simply passing the information to ‘out there’.

There are two aspects that I think are relevant: better processing information doesn't only involve railways, but it also involves all parties engaged in solving a customer’s mobility problem (distributors, retailers, payment facilitators and others) and the customers. Customers use their own ICT tools, like for example their smartphones. Customers are only asking for more intelligent technology.

 

The rail travel evolution from a traveller's perspective 

From a traveller's perspective, 'travel' may become a metaphor, just like the word ‘mail’ has retained a purely historical meaning in our e-mail usage. We see rail services evolving as a social networking technology among others connecting people and activities, from a pure infrastructure to support travel connecting places.

 

Technology's impact on the rail industry 

ICT technology of the most advanced kind is everywhere in a Railway: you can’t whisk safely 1500 people at 300Km/h on hundreds of trains a day across a mountainous country, down to subsystems within a locomotive, being ICT enabled.

The ICT competencies are a great intelligence resource within the Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane Group.The Group is now engaged in making all of this available for the customer, so we provide better rail passenger experience. 

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