Norderstedt, September 18, 2018 – Local public transportation has been increasing both at home and abroad for years. In Germany alone, around 10.4 billion passengers made use of public transportation services in 2017, according to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) – 140 million more than in 2016. The public transportation segment has a similarly strong presence at InnoTrans 2018. This segment, with its 400 exhibitors on 22,000 square meters, is the third largest at InnoTrans. The international trade fair for automotive and transportation engineering will be held at the Berlin Fairgrounds from September 18 to 21, 2018. The Lufthansa Industry Solutions booth is no. 211 in Hall 2.1.
Ralf Struckmeier, Vice President of Logistics at Lufthansa Industry Solutions, explains what role local public transportation will play in the mobility of the future and how transportation companies will have to position themselves.
Digitalization, self-driving vehicles and e-mobility are major engines of the change in transportation. Self-driving vehicles in particular are going to alter the mobility market as a whole. What role is public transportation going to play in all this in the future?
The old way of thinking in categories – local public transportation on the one hand, private transportation on the other – is no longer adequate. Instead, the two areas are going to join together. Customers no longer want to be tied to a specific mode of transportation, but rather want to make the right choice for the specific situation. Changes in mobility habits will be strongly influenced by digitalization. Apps and smartphones can help customers find the right offering. I see great opportunities here for transportation companies to play a leading role in the mobility mix of the future.
How are transportation companies going to have to position themselves to take on these new challenges?
They will have to change their way of thinking away from the logic of merely providing services and toward a more customer-oriented perspective. The customers of the future will want to be able to choose from the entire range of mobility options and get everything from a single supplier. As far as transportation companies are concerned, this will mean having to offer their customers a platform where they can obtain information, book services and settle accounts all at the same time. And what is more, across all mobility services on offer, that is, not only for public bus or train services, but also for car-to-go suppliers, as well as taxi or self-driving shuttle services. Local public transportation will become a mobility service provider combining all mobility services across the board and organizing them in the background.
Transportation companies will have to deal with increasing passenger volumes, meet the needs of individual customers, work sustainably and economically, and at the same time set the course for the future. How can they cope with all these challenges?
I see these challenges not as a contradictory, but rather as connected. Digitalization is creating new requirements, but at the same time also provides aids and solutions. What is important to remember is that no one can handle these changes entirely on their own. Rather, companies will have to network and cooperate. Here is where independent IT service providers like Lufthansa Industry Solutions can help with their competence, industry experience and process expertise. For instance, we offer custom-fit solutions for multimodal passenger transportation with our Patris product range. This is already enabling local public transportation companies to get a complete overview of their customers, provide them with a multimodal range of products and create an audit-proof image of all processes.
About Lufthansa Industry Solutions
Lufthansa Industry Solutions is a service provider for IT consulting and system integration. This Lufthansa subsidiary helps its clients with the digital transformation of their companies. Its customer base includes companies both within and outside the Lufthansa Group, as well as more than 200 companies in various lines of business. The company is based in Norderstedt and employs more than 1,500 members of staff at several branch offices in Germany, Switzerland and the USA.