Harold Wilson a one time Prime Minister of this great nation once famously said ‘A week is a long time in politics”. A clever saying from a clever man back in the day, he was also reportedly to have been the Queens favourite Prime Ministers from the 13 or so that she has had to work with, including stable and strong Theresa or weak and wobbly Mrs May depending on which newspaper that you want to read.
The reason that I mention this is simple. Since I joined the industry back in 1066 or to be more accurate 1983 i joined an industry that was only just beginning to embrace the new found technology of computers. Indeed I had a summer job in 1978 on what was then called the Viable Network Project or VNP as it was lovingly known. This basically required an army of people riding round on numerous buses in the Midland Red network which back then was enormous, interviewing thousands of bus passengers.
My temporary job was to basically ensure that the thousands of forms that the passengers filled in were then read by a computer that was simply huge, the machine then processed the raw data and then drew conclusions. The logic behind all this simple again, the Company wanted to re-design the operating network, so that the Company could operate networks that reflected modern passenger needs. The processing of all these million bits of information required a small army of part time people like me and another army of full time people.
Looking back to the world then compared to the world now I cannot believe just how slow the industry has been when I think back to the VNP project which was started in around about 1978 to 1981. Back in the day all this was actually innovative and cutting edge, but from then until probably the middle of 2005 not an awful lot more seemed to take place that I can recall. I am sure things came and went but nothing really earth shattering happened until the last ten years or so when there was a sudden and dramatic explosion of technology.
How do I know? Well because I have been fortunate enough to witness it all myself up close and personal, not just with the amazing technology of uTrack but across multiple platforms. From the alcolock acohol tester to driver standard scoring systems like Green Road,Traffilog, and Mix Telematics. These and numerous other clever and smart technologies have transformed this industry and it is really only just starting. As the worlds first driverless buses start to roll out, and the world of disruptive technology gains greater momentum it poses big questions across the spectrum of the Bus and Coach industry.
However I honestly believe that this can only make the industry better and more important of greater social value than ever before. On the positive side it is encouraging to see that the Mayor of London in the recent plans introduced for the public transport strategy do put the bus at the heart of the strategy. The situation in London is of course unique and comparisons can not be made outside of the UK, they have also been employing good technologies like iBus but they are a stand alone case study.
So just what will the next ten years bring? Time will tell but the internet of everything is escalating rapidly, a new world or driverless vehicles with alternative power sources can only be imagined. However be sure that we at uTrack will be sure to keep you posted.