Tuesday this week was Demo Day for Transport for NSW's (TfNSW) Future Transport Beacon Innovation Challenge and we were honoured to take part. TfNSW has been working with Sydney Trains and various volunteers to trial the use of BLE beacons in wayfinding for vision impaired customers. The Beacon Innovation Challenge invited the broader community to submit other ideas for how the beacons could be leveraged to benefit passengers.
After a successful pitch to TfNSW we were selected along with seven other teams to prototype and test our solution at Chatswood Interchange in Sydney, Australia. Tuesday was our chance to show the TfNSW team what we had been able to develop.
Our app focuses on empowering workers and maintaining clean, safe and secure environments for passengers.
Here is the solution we implemented:
We tweaked the existing Lighthouse mobile application to be able to listen for the beacons that were already installed at Chatswood Interchange. App features included:
- Real-time messaging between station workers
- Mobile issue capture to report public risks and hazards (including images) so they are addressed immediately
- Exception alerts for missed KPI's e.g. cleaning/security checks
- Location aware mobile task lists to prompt activity
- Mobile audits to ensure facilities are clean, safe and secure
We used the existing Lighthouse infrastructure to deliver a web console that had the following key features:
- Reporting on submitted tasks, issues and audits
- Live and historical maps
- Heat maps
- Visit and exception reports by zone and worker
Heat map data generated for the demo - red indicating areas where most activity takes place
We see a huge opportunity for TfNSW and Sydney Trains (and transport operators worldwide for that matter!) to leverage beacon technology to understand and improve the way key services such as cleaning, security and maintenance are delivered across transport networks. We believe improved technology and data can inform strategic ideas and decisions. And we believe mobility and smart workflows can improve job satisfaction and worker productivity.
We're really pleased to see that TfNSW has just launched The Future Transport Technology Roadmap to put NSW at the forefront of adopting new and emerging technologies. We are hopeful that we will get the opportunity to help transform the way transport is delivered in NSW.
If you're new to beacon technology, check out our Beginner's Guide To Beacons.