We’ve all been there. Your flight is cancelled and you need to be rebooked. While you wait in line for the next available gate agent or you’re stuck on hold as your travel agent gets flooded with calls from other delayed passengers, you start to wonder. Would a train be faster? What about a car? What if the flight is tomorrow? Do I need to change my hotel?
In today’s technologically connected world, isn’t there an “app” that automatically reschedules all travel and accommodation requirements based on user needs? Unfortunately, there is no product (yet) in today’s market that manages one single ticket for a complete travel itinerary and, should there be an unwanted disruption or need for changes, proactively alerts the traveller and shows all possible travel and accommodation rebooking options in real time.
The good news is that the technology needed to create an integrated travel assistant programme exists. Technology is not what is slowing the roll-out of new solutions. The barriers are a lack of industry cooperation to share timetables and to integrate booking and payment systems, conflicting government policies and a lack of standards.
For the integrated travel assistant programme to be developed successfully, there needs to be collaboration between all transportation providers. They all need to be linked on one common platform where user data and payments can be shared. Issues such as cyber security, ownership of end user data, and competition among providers will also need to be addressed.
In addition to the current hurdles to implementation, the world is moving towards becoming more interconnected. As such, changing government policy frameworks, increasing collaboration and new business models are fundamental to deliver the next generation solutions to an ever-evolving, always-connected consumer.
The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, examined major trends that will reshape the transport sector and present a number of thought-provoking scenarios of how the world could evolve. The Forum has also identified key solutions that will completely reshape the way people consume travel and transportation and how the sector can deliver against new customer requirements:
- Integrated, proactive inter-model travel assistant
- Condition-based megacity traffic management
- Fully automated check-in, security and border control and SMART visa
- Tracking- and transparency-based logistics optimizer
All four solutions have one thing in common: the ability to provide innovative business opportunities while providing the greatest benefit to society.
These solutions can unlock value and create convenience and efficiencies for consumers, governments and companies. The key will be whether the right actors are willing to collaborate on the issues that inhibit these solutions to be created.
Author: Philipp Sayler is a Senior Manager for the Automotive Industry at the World Economic Forum and Project Manager for Connected World.
Written in collaboration with Oliver Truong, Business Development Associate for Mobility Industries at the World Economic Forum.
Image: An airplane flies in front of the moon after take off REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi