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Analysis: transportation sector to increase investment in AV solutions

New research from AVIXA explains how the transport industry will increase AV spending over the coming years to improve efficiency and the overall travel experience

According to AVIXA’s new 2018 Market Opportunity Analysis Report (MOAR) focused on transportation, the majority of transportation companies with capital improvement plans will increase their spending over the coming years. In line with construction data, transportation decision makers estimate 4.6% of their spending will go toward AV solutions. The report reveals that transportation companies are motivated to invest in AV technologies to improve efficiency and the overall travel experience.

MOAR: Transportation explores the perceptions of travellers to understand their needs while navigating a transportation hub and the role technology plays in enhancing their experience. The report also examines the viewpoint of the purchasers of AV solutions at transportation hubs and companies, as well as the pro AV systems integrators that work in the market.

“The transportation market is a large contributor to the US economy and workforce,” said Sean Wargo, senior director of market intelligence, AVIXA. “In 2017, domestic and international travellers spent $192 billion on mass transportation in the United States, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Air and rail travel continue to grow as consumers shift their spending from things to experiences. Overall, people are using more of their income to travel, and transportation companies plan to invest in facility renovations to increase both efficiency and customer satisfaction. In addition, technology upgrades will also serve to boost ancillary revenue streams.”

Transportation companies are experimenting with a variety of technological advances to improve overall operations. Better sharing of information across systems, more reliable WiFi, larger video displays, directional audio, specialty kiosks that provide personalised communication, subliminal wayfinding by using colour, and facial recognition are examples of the various technologies being applied.

According to the research, travellers rely on public address announcements and digital signage the most for information pertaining to their trip and depend on wayfinding systems to help them traverse a space. Customer satisfaction with audio systems they encounter during their journey is low in comparison to the importance placed on audio systems. Travellers also want to stay connected digitally through on-demand audio and video content, videowalls, and interactive touch displays – technologies with endless possibilities for customer engagement and brand advertising. As technology evolves and is adopted into day-to-day life, consumers want to take it with them throughout their trip.

Both transportation customers and providers of AV solutions agree one of the biggest challenges faced by transportation companies is the interoperability of AV and existing infrastructure. With space and budgetary restrictions, being able to work within the current layout is a major concern for many transportation hubs. Most transportation services are open 24/7, which means transportation companies need an AV partner who can minimise the installation downtime to ensure that systems operate smoothly with as little disruption to the flow of traffic as possible.

AV companies report they do a moderate amount of business within the transportation industry, mainly working with airports. They also work with subway terminals and railroad train stations, but to a much lesser degree. There are many strong partnerships, and slightly more transportation customers choose to work with an existing vendor, but nearly half still utilise competitive RFPs and are open to new suppliers. Over half of suppliers currently working with transportation companies anticipate their transportation revenue will increase, and nearly two-thirds of those not working with the transportation industry expect to do so within the next three years.