The strategy includes connected trains that communicate to avoid congestion and more frictionless gate entry through a Bluetooth-connected smartphone, and possibly one day, eye and fingerprint scanning.
The Rail Delivery Group, the body that represents Britain's passenger train companies, laid out the blueprint noting three key areas where technology can make things easier for passengers. One of these is a type of seat design that is claimed to allow 20 to 30 percent more seats in each carriage, along with another that changes its configuration during peak times to make space for 15 to 20 percent more seats. These will be built into existing trains this year.
Intelligent trains comprise a second area, which are self-regulating rail cars that will communicate with each other as a way of autonomously minimizing conflicts at junctions. The idea is that this will allow more frequent trips and fewer delays, and the UK government has committed £450 million (US$562 million) to trial a new signaling technology to that end.