UK: The University of Surrey has been awarded £230 000 from the Department for Transport through Innovate UK to create an onward journey planning assistant which would learn a user’s needs to enable it to offer tailored real-time alternative routes in the event of a delay to a journey.

The project is being supported by: CommuterHive, SnapOut, ManagePlaces and Govia Thameslink Railway.

Users would be able to program the app to understand their requirements, such as the journey time, price or need for a seat. The app would then use data from customers and operators to suggest options, which might include taking an alternative rail or bus route or sharing a taxi with other passengers on the same train.

'Individual rail passengers have different needs: some want to arrive exactly on time, some want a stress-free journey, and some are more cost-conscious than others’, said Dr Sotiris Moschoyiannis of the university’s Department of Computer Science. ‘Our research will bring this data together with real-time status of onward modes of transport and station facilities to offer a proactive concierge-like service’.