Standing in the aisles may be a sign of good things in the theatre – but not on the train.
So Dutch train operator NS has announced that from next year its travel app will tell you where to find a seat.
Data scientists Cyriana Roelofs and Sophie Verberne have developed a Reisplanner Xtra function to tell you which carriages are least full by using smart sensors in the track to weigh each carriage in real time.
The Telegraaf reports that this could be ‘the latest weapon against rush hour woes.’ The weighing capability was originally developed to monitor freight trucks but the sensors will also be used, says NS, to check the condition of train wheels.
Roelofs said in an NS press release: ‘These sensors are a treasure trove of information. If the sensor on the track suggests that the rear carriage is much heavier than the front one, then there are seats in the front carriage. Our initial experiments have shown this to be the case.’
Verberne added: ‘The information comes in in real time, we connect it to the trip planner and then travellers will be able to see where it is busier and where it is quieter.’
The two developers had won third place for their idea in the OV Gids hackathon, a 12-hour competition for staffers to come up with smart solutions to improve travel. It is expected to go into action next year.
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