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Transportation Sciences

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Your smartphone as travel assistant    Sep 15, 2016

Your smartphone as travel assistant
Sep 15, 2016

Arne Nys, alumnus of the master Transportation Sciences, developed a prototype of an application that guides public transport users through delays and disruptions in order to arrive stressfree at their destination.

Global positioning system (GPS). Nowadays it is almost indispensable in the car. The technology brings drivers faultlessly from point A to B and suggests an alternative route in case of severe traffic disruption. “Why is there no similar system for public transport users?”, Arne Nys wondered. In his thesis, he developed the ‘Mobile Public Transport Travel Assistant’: a prototype of an application that guides public transport users during the complete journey. “You switch on the application when leaving your home. The app uses the Google Street View-navigation function to guide you to the next bus stop or train station. Furthermore, it calculates your average walking speed. When you are walking too slow, the app will advise you to hurry up, if you still want to catch your train or bus”, said Arne Nys in the newspaper Metro.

The prototype is an upgrade of the existing bus and train travel apps. Arne Nys: “Apps such as De Lijn or NMBS are very useful in searching travel routes, in finding changes of bus/ train/ … and in checking delays. However, they do not take into account the path that you’ve already travelled and the delays that you’ve already encountered. Those factors can have an influence on the continuation of your trip.” The application provides instant alternative suggestions in case of delays or other disruptions.

Arne Nys won the AXA-thesis award for his master’s thesis, but he also found a job in Germany thanks to his master’s thesis. He will soon start to work for a start-up in Berlin, where he will further develop a travel app of the company.

Read the full article in the newspaper Metro (dutch)