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Tailor-made journey: Tube Star app for a customized journey quality
Neal Lathia and Licia Capra proposed their study on a native Android application, Tube Star, which allows travellers to exchange qualitative and real time information about London Tube. As highlighted by the two researchers: “the application leverages the same techniques (ratings and tweet-style text) that social media sites use, but channels these into interfaces that reflect the structure of the transport system, rather than the users’ social networks.”
The focus is also on the quality of information: most of the android users studied by Lathia and Capra were updating statuses not with the institutional info, but that on heat or crowdedness of the public transportation. This information might be very important for passengers: an old person could opt for a less crowded transportation, while an employee might not pay attention to the crowdedness factor. The study also analyzes the accuracy and speed of user updates: announcements from travellers were faster than those from transportation authorities (e. g. in case of accidents or technical problems).
What is the direction for the future? It most probably is the next generation development for transportation info where users are not passive, but can interact and exchange updates among each other in a more effective way than through institutional information. As affirmed by the researchers: “The combination of qualitative and real-time information that can be gathered directly from travellers can be leveraged to build the next generation of personalised travel experience applications advocated in. To achieve this goal, techniques to engage travellers into sharing experiences, as seamlessly and continuously as they may produce status updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, are required.”
Are you ready to discover all the details about the research? See the paper here: