UK’s Avanti West Coast tests wayfinding mobile application

UK-based train operating company Avanti West Coast has started testing a digital wayfinding tool to help commuters navigate through railway stations.

The pilot project involves using the Waymap app to guide passengers at the Birmingham International station.

Passengers at the station can download the app onto their phones and use it to self-navigate using audio, visual and written instructions.

The testing will continue until the end of next month.

If successful, the app or some similar technology is expected to be introduced across Avanti West Coast managed stations.

The Waymap application uses Bluetooth beacons and smartphone technology placed across the station building to locate the user and help them navigate and reach their selected endpoint.

The users can also receive custom directions by entering their starting location and destination and self-navigate to neighbouring platforms, attractions, or points of interest at the station.

The Waymap app can also be used by visually impaired users.

Avanti West Coast customer experience executive director Natasha Grice said: “We want to make it easier for customers to have seamless end-to-end journeys, so finding their way around stations is key, which is why we’re trialling digital wayfinding technology.

“This latest initiative gives customers the tools to navigate platforms or points of interest tailored to their journey with their preferred choice of instructions, allowing them to get where they need to be more easily and with independence.”

Last month, UK-based tech firm Transreport, in association with Rail Delivery Group and the wider rail industry, developed a new app to offer support to disabled commuters during rail journeys.

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