Photo of arrival boardsResearch confirms what the evidence suggests: the quality of transport infrastructure and economic development are deeply interconnected. In today’s world, the transportation sector’s role has become even more critical. Aspects such as climate change, reduced fossil fuel supplies, technological innovation and changes in lifestyles and habits around the world – are among the critical factors that have an impact on this sector.

The EU Roadmap towards a competitive and resource-efficient transport system refers to the need for a new transportation paradigm:

“According to which (…) greater numbers of travelers are carried jointly to their destination by the most efficient (combination of) modes. Individual transport is preferably used for the final miles of the journey and performed with clean vehicles. Information technology provides for simpler and more reliable transfers. Transport users pay for the full costs of transport in exchange for less congestion, more information, better service and more safety.

The roadmap states that better use of network and safer operations through information and communication systems are among the key factors involved in achieving an efficient and sustainable European transport system. One of the most effective, intuitive and engaging ways to deliver key information is the simplest and most direct: Speech. Indeed, when implemented in any kind of service, regardless of sector or demographic, speech significantly enhances the user experience. In transportation, it can effectively and efficiently support the activities of those who run the services and maintain them as well as people who use the transportation infrastructure to get from one location to another.

In many regions, we still see high private vehicle use, partly as a consequence of public transport that is costly yet unreliable, while changes in personal lifestyles and professional requirements involve greater flexibility. In the past few years, the sharing economy has brought a new dimension to the transportation landscape. Multimodal travel is increasingly becoming the norm. Commuters and travelers take a complex combination of means of transport. Because of their complexity, it’s a surprise when travel experiences come anywhere near to being seamless.

Fortunately, innovative technologies and applications can help make things run smoother and there are start-ups and developers creating a world of exciting and popular applications. Most of us rely on our devices to get hold of the information we need to plan our travel. Our choices are often influenced by how much we think we can rely on the information and services we find.

However, with a number of service providers involved in a daily commute and web content or apps for each of these, it’s easy to be a little overwhelmed. Finding the information one needs on a smartphone, on a bustling street – can be challenging, even for the most agile millennials out there. This is where high-quality text to speech solutions such as Ivona voices have an important role to play. Ivona TTS voices are ready to be deployed in all types of services, such as real-time multimodal journey planning information or service and ticketing updates, enhancing the transportation experience for everyone – from round-the-world travellers to commuters, drivers, fleet operators, network and service managers.

Speech is the most direct, intuitive and natural means of conveying information, for example:

  1. Keeping passengers informed about service disruptions with announcements on the station platform.
  2. Announcing the next stop and which connections they can take from there.
  3. When the next bus is due to arrive.
  4. Providing foreign visitors the information they need to reach their destination in a new country.

This is especially important when promoting a climate of inclusion, for those who aren’t so confident with smartphones and for anyone with specific accessibility needs. When service developers have technology such as IVONA voices, text to speech that is so clear and human-like it’s almost impossible to distinguish from studio pre-recorded speech, the choice is an easy one to make. They can instantly deploy real-time information regarding any aspect of the services they manage, including last-minute updates like route changes, maintenance, congestion or other factors, and make a positive impact on peoples’ travel experience -while containing costs.

By deploying high quality, multilingual text-to-speech technology, transportation sector service providers deliver real-time information in a clear, intelligible way, making concrete progress towards the EU’s objective of creating seamless door-to-door mobility.