Google Netherlands and Localyse jointly organise Innovation Event
A (temporary) unique Innovation Event was held at Google in Amsterdam on 25 September. It was the first time that Google Netherlands had organised an event in conjunction with a partner. The topic of the afternoon: What is the significance of the Google Cloud Platform for the innovation of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) projects in the Travel & Transportation industry? Localyse and Google Netherlands invited a number of market leaders from the industry, including representatives of Schiphol Airport, Dutch Railways (NS), ANWB, Pon and KLM.
‘Localyse on MaaS’
The first presentation looked at Localyse’s current involvement with MaaS projects. Amongst other things, it was noted that an increasing number of companies that were not originally transport companies are now offering transport options in collaboration with, for example, suppliers of shared bicycles. With a growing number of providers, the opportunities for anyone to easily make use of the mobility available are also on the increase.
Jeffrey Benning, Localyse Country Manager for the Netherlands, inspired attendees to discuss the execution of MaaS projects amongst multiple parties. What communication would be required? Would there be a need to open data up if multiple parties were working on a single MaaS project? Discussions also highlighted the fact that equating different transport operators and transport types can lead to problems in MaaS projects – remarks that indicated how much work still needs to be done on MaaS.
‘It was particular inspiring to see the way in which market leaders shared their experiences and ideas surrounding MaaS.’
Alexander Gannouni, Developer at Localyse, demonstrated an MaaS application to highlight the different requirements involved in transport. Some people have concerns about the environment and want to see CO2 emissions as low as possible, while others want to get to their destination as quickly as possible, irrespective of the price, plus there are families who are keeping to a budget. The demonstration showed how important it is to consider different customer profiles when developing a MaaS application, and to personalise travel options.
‘Use of Cloud in online marketing’
Information from the cloud together with algorithms from Google can help to create a best-in-class campaign that works by itself. Google’s Izi Ancel gave us the example of banners changing on a website according to set criteria – Christmas themes in December for example, and children playing in a swimming pool in the summer.
According to Lee Boonstra, Engineer at Google, machine learning has the capacity to help the Travel & Transportation industry to improve its services even further. She used two examples.
Dutch Railways (NS) could use standard machine learning APIs to analyse tweets. Those tweets – both positive and negative tweets about the company – could then help Dutch Railways to understand people’s perceptions of the company and its services.
It could also be useful for predicting queue waiting times based on data gathered in the past. This is something that would be particularly useful to a company like KLM. Such forecasts could be used to inform travellers of the latest times they should arrive at the airport – a beneficial added extra.
‘Nothing but positive noises at the end. I think for most attendees, it seemed like a 2.0 version.’
‘Use of Google Maps APIs’
Hans Kemper, Senior Applications Manager at ANWB, explained how ANWB is using Google Maps APIs and Places APIs to improve its service offering. Their roadside assistance app connects customers to the emergency centre with just the press of a button. The app transmits the customer’s exact position to the emergency centre, and customers can monitor the app to see precisely when assistance will arrive.
It’s worth repeating
The afternoon was rounded off with a drink, giving attendees the opportunity to chat in a more informal setting. The Innovation Event was a resounding success and is certain to be followed by more similar events.