The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) believe government plans to foster closer working links between train companies and technology firms is an “important step.”
This comes after the Department for Transport (DfT) – through Rail Minister Jo Johnson – and the Rail Delivery Group’s Chief Executive Paul Plummer, published the Joint Rail Data Action Plan, which sets out how the plans for closer collaboration will be delivered, as well as the deadlines for implementation.
Overseen by an industry-led taskforce, it is hoped the plan will create seamless, hassle-free journeys for passengers and businesses by giving real-time information out on issues such as delays, and available seats.
The plans to create closer links between train companies and tech firms is something the NIC has championed itself; at the end of last year, the Commission published its own report – Data for the Public Good.
Within this report, benefits of improved efficiencies that can be achieved by sharing data across the differing infrastructure sectors were outlined.
The NIC said using new technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning could significantly cut disruptions on the infrastructure network of the UK.
Tellingly, after outlining benefits for the rail network, the NIC recommended the increase of open data sharing to maximise these opportunities.
This is very much in the same vein as the joint plan from the DfT and Rail Delivery Group, and after the release of these ambitions to gain greater working links between the train companies and tech firms, a spokesperson for the Commission said these plans will provide “better information for passengers.”
“This joint initiative to increase data sharing across the rail sector puts our recommendations into practice, and will lead to better information for passengers.
“We’ve highlighted the need for data sharing across infrastructure sectors under a dedicated framework, and this is an important step towards that.
“We look forward to seeing how the rail industry and other sectors take this agenda forward.”