Where Tech Can Help, LM Labs Demo Day
The quote that stuck we at last night’s LM Labs Demo Day was from Wired Magazine’s David Rowan: “What was sci-fi is just another start up”. Sitting in an event about making a 200 year old mode of transport more innovative we were presented with videos showing working prototypes of passenger carrying drones and the continuing buzz around Hyperloop. Joined with driverless cars and virtual reality experiences, one could wonder whether there’ll be a rail industry left when everyone’s literally flying around.
The fact is, people will be taking trains for a long time yet. They can carry vastly more people into and around urban areas and people will continue to enjoy being able to nip to the toilet or get a sandwich on a long distance journey.
Many of the innovations coming out of LM Labs seemed to be mitigations to remove the pain points as a passenger. Certainly, that’s what I welcome. The rail industry is very good at getting the trains to run consistently and predictably; it’s good at concrete, metal and standards but the tech world can help rail to overcome its rougher edges when it comes to interacting with humans. I look forward to watching the development of these new ticketing, information and journey experience improvements to integrate rail into the rest of my digital life.
Liam is the Founder & Chair of The Rail Innovation Group