Remember the “Good Ol’ Days”... The long lines at the ticket counters months before you actually boarded the train, running on the runway to catch that window seat by the safety doors, or the empty streets of your city at midnight when you’re hoping to get the drunk you home after a not so good date, and all that other jazz… Luckily for us all it’s all come to an end. The transport industry has been affected by digitalization at a very rapid pace and today I am going to talk about how this change in both the transport and travel industries has affected our daily lives.
The way people travel has gone through a massive change. Innovation in the public and private sector has led to a complete turnover in the way people get from place A to place B and what they do during their journey. Developments in automation, Internet of Things and the omnipresent cloud software has acted as a huge game-changer. Digitalization of the transport industry has changed how goods travel, giving it an edge like never before.
Instead of relying on expanding infrastructure, people are relying on technology to make their travel life easier. Through various user friendly apps, you can now buy your train tickets online. With a couple of taps, you can pay for your public transport. Not just that, you can also point your camera at a barcode to pay at toll gates, I’d say “Dream come true”.
The digital age has come in like a gush of really strong wind, creating change in its path with every step taken. Though the growth of the transport industry has been pretty linear in the last 5500 years, the digital world has brought us smartphones that give us access to real time planning, open traffic data and instant booking.
Today, I talk about certain areas of travel & transport that have seen a strong change thanks to digitalization:
PAY AS YOU GO
Every part of the transport industry is embracing at least some part under the digital umbrella. Online wallets have made paying as you go a total reality. Apps have been created that let you pay for your travel as you go, making travelling without cash a pleasurable experience. Now, you can pay for everything online – from your toll gate payments under 30 seconds to making future bookings while already travelling, this system helps make life easy for everyone!
SMART CABS MAKE FOR SMART CITIES
Cab Aggregator apps like Ola & Uber changed the way people travel. It has ensured that people no longer roam the streets of our cities shouting “TAAAXI” on the top of their voices. These cab services have become a way of life now, increasing the demand for cars on the go.
You can pool a cab with another passenger, they come with WiFi and a variety of payment options. Get your cab to wherever you are or where you want it to be at a certain time, share your location monitored by a family or friend and make sure that you are safe at all times.
DIGITALIZATION IN EVERY AREA
Every area is now digitalized in the transport industry. Retail stores are making deliveries quicker with access to smartphones, monitoring each delivery in the palm of their hands. Through online apps, stores can now give consumers a real time assessment of their orders and deliveries. Thanks to digitalization, connection has now been established between villages and cities, the farmers can now be connected directly with their customers without any middlemen, a feat that wasn’t possible a decade ago.
TRAVEL MADE EASY WITH TRAINS
Yes, I finally lay hands on the true gem of the Indian transport sector, the only good britishers did to India.. The Indian Railways. Started in 1853 the 14 carriage train from Mumbai to Thane driven by the three locomotives “Sahib, Sindh & Sultan” was a milestone in Indian history. The railways ever since has gone through a drastic change, not just in quality of travel but also ease of travel using digitalization. Almost a century and half later the milestone was replaced by an even bigger one, IRCTC. Launched in 2002, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) www.irctc.co.in had booked merely 27 tickets on the first day of its commencement of e- ticketing service in the country. Now after 15 years of sparkling journey, it has emerged as a largest in the country with more than 13 lakhs booking per day in terms of online ticketing, leaving behind several high-profile e-commerce sites worldwide. Smart ticketing has made mobility easy. By fitting sensors into the trains, data can be collected and used to analyse and regulate consumer preferences. Safety on trains has improved drastically and this has all been thanks to digitalization!
EXPLORE THE UNEXPLORED
With the internet now a necessity more than just a service, you can explore the unexplored parts of the country without worrying too much. Follow other people’s travel diaries or make your own. You can now access routes, pins put up by other travellers, or choose to find your own. Online maps has made “getting lost” a statement no more part of our dictionaries. These maps also helps in giving you access to places that haven’t been explored before, not just on earth but even in the sky, making life a thrilling experience!
LIFE MADE EASY AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Life has been made easy with everything available at your fingertips. Now, you can do everything at home. From check-ins for flights to booking your room or making your payments on time and to creating impromptu travel plans, digitalization has really made life easy for all of us!
EFFICIENCY OF AUTHORITIES AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Digitalization of all services by the government is a blessing to us billion Indians. You can now book a driving license test, request for a duplicate of the Registration Certificate, pay your road tax, apply for passport and visa’s, and so much more at the comfort of your home. Each of these were mind boggling and time taking processes until the internet wore a cape and became the real superhero of our lives.
GOODS AND IT'S DELIVERY
Well honestly I haven’t bought a post stamp in over a decade, and I don’t think I would anytime in the near future. E-mail changed the way we stay connected with our clients, and then social media took over. But the major game changer was in the delivery business. Now, you can get any item picked up from your home or any shop and be delivered to anybody in your city or across the country, just by the click of few buttons. With real time data & analysis on everything from user behaviour to delivery statistics, the delivery business has made travel of goods a walk in the park.
Every aspect of the transport industry has changed drastically and dramatically through digitalization. Access to the world has made our life exciting, creating a place which we thought was science fiction, now, a reality. The world is changing quickly and it’s time we accept the change and more importantly learn to efficiently use it for a better digital future.