The APTA Emerging and Innovative Technology Committee met yesterday to discuss ongoing work this year related to both Senior/Disabled Assistive and 3D Printing Technologies. The session on 3D printing was excellent, with new participants chiming in with great ideas for what the committee could achieve in this topic. From prototyping components, to Buy America support, to solving problems with older parts, 3D printing has huge promise for the public transportation industry.
One of the coolest transit technology projects I have seen recently just went live in New York for the MTA – interactive touchscreens called “On the Go” by Control Group. These capacitive screens behave similar to a smartphone, with the user being able to actively engage with the screen based on the location of the device. The user interface is beautiful and intuitive, providing quick and relevant information to the user.
Control Group is an innovation incubator with diverse interests in many different industries, and they bring that knowledge now into the public transit world for New York MTA. This device is different than the static or dynamic message boards found typically at most agencies (and, disclosure, made by my company’s subsidiary NextBus) in that the user can actively engage with the device. They are funding much of this development based on shared advertising revenue, thus decreasing the capital investment by the agency.
I encourage everyone to take a look at this cool company.