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How Mobile Assistants Could Revolutionize Traveller Experiences

In recent news, one premium original equipment manufacturer (OEM) announced that it will make yet-to-be-activated car features available to customers on a subscription basis. The features may include advanced driver assistance systems or heated seats. Thanks to Over-The-Air (OTA) technology, the promise of wireless, automatic software updates and easy access to travel information is expected to soon become reality. In separate yet related news, Tesla became the first car maker to avoid requiring customers to bring their cars to the dealership for software update visits through the deployment of OTA software update capabilities.

These are two examples of data and car connectivity working in tandem to create new automotive services. The path to seamless mobility is opening for all of us, and is poised to spark a user experience revolution in the not too distant future.

To illustrate the possibilities, take the example of John, who lives in the suburbs of a large European city.

John leaves his home one morning and heads into the city center in his electric vehicle (EV). He plans to meet a few friends. When he arrives, John faces his first hurdle: finding an available parking spot. Instead of using one or more apps to query for parking space availability, John dreams of a magic wand — a single mobility assistant that caters to his travelling needs, starting with a parking space locator. Surely, this mobility assistant should be integrated into his car, and car manufacturers are expected to provide this capability soon.

Continuing the journey… John, now armed with his dream app, asks the voice assistant embedded in the app to find a parking spot. The dashboard screen — whether powered by Apple Car or Android Auto — mirrors his smartphone. The app proposes the most convenient parking space in a garage or off-site location based on the app’s geofencing function. In the event John’s EV is running low on power, the mobility assistant automatically checks for a parking spot that doubles as a battery charging station. The app will make recommendations based on proximity and price. 

John leaves his car at the charging point to meet friends. Payment is automatically validated by the mobility assistant, which will update John throughout the day on the remaining charging time and whether additional parking payment is required.

Just as he approaches his friends, John wonders whether he remembered to lock his car. No problem. At a glance, he can remotely lock his vehicle using the mobility assistant app’s features.

While visiting with friends, John receives an incoming notification about an unscheduled work appointment he can’t miss. After explaining and making plans to meet his friends again soon, John departs His car is insufficiently charged, so John decides to pursue alternative transport. His mobility assistant recommends a ride-hailing service as the quickest, most efficient method to get to his appointment. John accepts the recommendation and the mobile assistant automatically orders the car, which arrives in minutes. He is on his way.

After his meeting, John decides to return to his car using public transportation, choosing the underground railway that runs through the city. Again, this option proves straightforward thanks to his mobility assistant, which connects to the appropriate ticketing app and pays the corresponding fare.

A few subway stops before his destination, John locates his now fully-charged EV via the mobility assistant’s parking function (John has never had a good sense of direction). Once he reaches his car, John uses his smartphone as an electronic key, while the mobile assistant automatically validates and processes his parking and charging bill. The mobile assistant solution John uses is vendor-agnostic, interoperating with each existing provider.

On his way home, John is informed that his car is due for its regular maintenance soon based on mileage provided by the car’s computer. The appointment becomes more urgent when the car’s intelligent monitoring system detects, in real time, that a tire is damaged. John requests to set up an appointment at the dealership. The mobility assistant confirms the date/time, and saves this information to John’s schedule.

At the end of the month, John receives an itemized bill that covers the standard charges and his mobility expenses on a single payment or credit card account. A history of invoices are available at the touch of a button or by using a single voice-activated command.

A few days later, an auto maintenance quote is uploaded via his mobility assistant, along with a final invoice once the car’s service is completed. John validates the payment amount and his bank account is automatically charged.

Whenever John wants to know more about his car lease,   such as its remaining duration, monthly rate or other details, he has that information available on demand by querying his mobility assistant.     

This example describes John’s dream, which may soon become reality. Ultimately, we know that many customers are seeking a more seamless journey experience. Interoperability across transport modes, and from one provider to the next, is a must to ensure a comfortable, modern, end-to-end user experience.

Conduent Transportation can help turn this dream into reality. We provide solutions for Curbside Management and Customer Experience Management that match the best of human interaction with advanced technologies such as voice assistant, virtual agent, analytics, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. Our tools are underpinned by the Conduent Automation Platform to ensure a successful user experience.

Conduent manages millions of payments every year from payers to payees’ accounts and delivers mission-critical services and solutions on behalf of businesses and governments — creating  exceptional outcomes for our clients and the millions of people who count on them.


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