Rolling stock manufacturer Hitachi Rail has announced that it is testing prototype technology that may prevent long queues at ticket-barriers in railway stations.
The technology involves using sensors on trains that can detect and recognise an app on passengers’ smartphones while they board. The passengers will automatically be charged the respective fare once they off-board.
The smart technology eliminates the need to pay through a dedicated e-wallet manually and prevents long queues at ticket-barriers. Additionally, it will help to streamline the boarding process.
Currently, Hitachi is testing the technology for Trenito Transporti in Trento, Italy. In future, the company plans to roll out this smart ticketing in the UK for use on trams and trains, as well as on buses.
Hitachi Rail managing director Karen Boswell said: “This technology has the ability to transform public transport in every corner of the country, from rural buses to city centre train stations.
“The common travelling woes of queues at ticket machines or trying to find the cheapest fare could be solved without even needing to reach for your pocket.
“We are now beginning to test this technology and looking at the possibility of one app working across large stretches of a country.”
Recently, Hitachi Rail secured a £400m ($486m) contract from UK transport operator Abellio to supply intercity trains for East Midlands Railway.
Overall, it will supply 33 five-carriage intercity trains, which will be built at its Newton Aycliffe train factory in the UK.
According to the company, Hitachi Rail will have 286 trains running in the UK by 2022.