LJMU showcases new railway technology to industry



Government-backed customer service technology developed at LJMU is to be showcased to potential clients in the railway industry.

IRIS is a real-time information and communication system that helps staff make better day-to-day operational decisions and improves service levels for passengers.

Funded by the Department of Transport, the technology will be showcased this Wednesday, March 17 to industry professionals in a webinar along with two other First of a Kind in Rail 2020 projects.

“It is an exciting time to be developing technology which will help rebuild passenger confidence and attract people back to rail,” said LJMU Project Manager Alan Palin.

Merseyrail trial

Trials of the new intelligent information system are underway on the Northern Line between Liverpool Central and Liverpool South Parkway stations.

It provides staff with hand-held devices that pick up alerts directly from a range of rail data sources regarding timetabling, delays and connections. They can also use the devices to report incidents, bookassistance for passengers, arrange bus replacements and much more (See demos).

IRIS harvests information from different sources into one single view, as lead developer Professor Thanh Nguyen, a computer scientist and lead researcher of the project, explains: “There is a lot of information out there, the key is putting it at the fingertips of staff so they can quickly understand a situation – say a delay – and provide more useful answers to passenger queries.”

“Our system uses intelligent algorithms to interpret the information and translate it into simple but tailored messages. The result is that rail staff can inform passengers of information which is more specific to their particular journey in a much faster way.”

Innovate UK

The demonstrator is taking place online from 2pm on Wednesday 17th March 2021. You can find out more at passengers-first.co.uk

The projects are funded by the Department for Transport through the First of a Kind in Rail 2020 competition delivered by InnovateUK

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