It was an absolute pleasure to be hosting in the Digital Zone of the Transported by Design festival yesterday (Sunday 3 July), which saw Regent Street transformed into a vehicle-free street for the day, as cars, buses and taxis were replaced by stalls, marquees and even a Tube train carriage!
With the challenges facing the London transport network around increased demand for its services, rising customer expectations and TfL’s drive to continue to innovate and place London as a world-leading city, technology and digital is already playing a key role in what we do. This will only intensify further in the years ahead.
So, having expert speakers from a range of leading organisations yesterday to provide their perspective on this important agenda in a Ted-style talk was very exciting.
Their talks certainly didn’t disappoint – they offered a really thought-provoking focus on how future travel in London could continue to change in terms of travel modes, payment and customer engagement.
We started with Phil Young, who is the Head of Online at TfL. Phil spoke about Transport for London’s perspective on transport in the digital age, with an emphasis on the world-leading open data activity that is already powering hundreds of smart phone apps in the city. (Read more about our open data policy in these blog posts.)
Following Phil was Sebastien Lefebvre, Director of Growth EMEA at Twitter, who discussed Twitter’s view on the future of customer service and engagement, with a focus on public transport. Sebastien highlighted Twitter’s recent disruption notification pilot through Direct Messaging – in partnership with TfL – which informs customers of any disruption to their service. This is a world-first in public transport.
Will Judge, Head of Urban Mobility from Mastercard, provided a very interesting talk on the future of digital experience, with a focus on payments in the future, particularly on mass transit.
Elmer Zinkhann, Design Consultant from Globant (a customer experience consultancy), spoke about how a more connected world would directly impact the customer experience around travel.
The range of points made on the day made me think about where we might be in two, five or ten years time, using technology to provide strong customer engagement and experiences, and the future certainly looks very exciting in this area. This is applicable to any business or industry that focuses on strong customer engagement and experiences, not just transport.
If you were at Transported by Design and heard any of our expert speakers we’d love to hear what you thought of their talks, as well as the festival more generally. Please do leave us your comments or questions below.