DfT announces new T-TRIG awards – Esoterix to develop crowding predictions on trains using real-time data
Today the Department for Transport has announced the latest winners of the T-TRIG programme.
The FAST project, Find a Seat on a Train, is amongst them.
The project uses the weight data of carriages to provide capacity estimates for passengers.
This will let people choose whether to travel and where to board the service 🚆
— Rachel Maclean MP #StayAtHome (@redditchrachel) February 11, 2021
Using real time occupancy measurements from carriage weight data, FAST will develop the technology to predict how busy a train service will be further down the line.
In essence, if there are 1000 people on the train at Station A, how many people will there be at Stations C, D, E, etc.?
FAST will use machine learning from previous crowding patterns on services, set within the context of weather, day-type and events (e.g. football matches, concerts – when they start again) to give intelligent predictions that passengers can rely on.
Fear of crowding is cited as the number 1 barrier to choosing to travel by train. With passenger numbers currently hovering at 10%-15% of pre-COVID levels, building confidence about the ability to socially distance on public transport is key to attracting people back to rail as the mode of choice.
‘We’re excited about this latest award that will enable better passenger information about crowding at a time when the ability to socially distance is so key. This latest award will further our work on using big data to improve the passenger experience.’ says David Stewart, Esoterix CEO.