The Potential Impact of Intelligent Personal Assistants on Public Transport: Critical Analysis
Intelligent Personal Assistants – Intelligent Personal Assistance (IPA) is an application of Artificial Intelligence. By the term Artificial Intelligence we mean the technology used to serve software with the help making of intelligent behavior (What is Intelligent Virtual Assistant?, 2018). Intelligent Personal Assistants are the types of voice-enabled technologies used in mobile phones such as Siri in Apple iPhone and Cortana in Microsoft etc. The IPA’s are basically designed to perform the specific tasks of users by using the online sources available over the internet (Canbek & Mutlu, 2016, p. 602). In the words of Matney(2015), the main five giant robust tech titans are Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook that have their own IPA’s like Siri, Now, Alexa, Cortana and M respectively that help users to get the results according to the input provided by them.
In the simple words, IPA’s are the software that are designed to help people in doing some simple and basic tasks, in which user give input in natural language i.e. English and the answer is provided by IPA’s using online resources about the questions relating to weather, directions for driving and sports etc (Krupansky,2017). While some of the IPA’s help in business services such as Calendar and reminder, others do essential services like health monitoring. These IPA’s are made available on mobile phones as software applications.
Main features of IPA are:
IPA’s are able to work on Smartphones, Smart televisions, Smart speakers, Computers and Laptops and in all smart appliances (Vangie, 2018).
Public Transport – Public Transport is a transport system, opposing to private transport for the use of group passengers (What is Public Transport?,ND). It is usually for the interest of general public and cheaper than the private transport. Public Transport is typically managed by a scheduled time, for going to specific routes and there is a fee for each trip. There are many types of public transport such as, bus, train, light rail, ferries, Coach, Air lines and many more.
People choose the type that is most convenient to them in regards of speed, comfort, cost, safety and most importantly time. Most of the public transport goes on fixed routes at prearranged timetables. These time tables are usually fixed but in some situations they might be changed. Differences can be found internationally in the use of public transport system according to the geographical, historical and economic reasons. All types of public transport run on infrastructure such as roads, rails or airways. Timetables are provided in each public transport system for the public to arrange their trips. These timetables can be found on internet. Also, there are many mobile applications that give information of the updated timetables of each transport system.
Impact of Intelligent Personal Assistants on Public Transport – Intelligent Personal Assistance technology can impact Public Transport Industry in many ways, some of them are written below;
Currently, people all over the world use voice assistance on smartphones such as Siri in Apple iPhone and Cortana in Microsoft. Likewise, if IPA can manage voice assistance then it could become possible to accept queries, complaints or objections from the general public in all means of public transport like Trains, Buses or Ferries via voice assistance (Harris et al., 2012). For example, if someone loses their valuable things in any type of public transport then it can be possible for them to make a complaint about it through their smartphones using Voice Assistance rather than first calling customer care and then lodging their complaint. Life of people would definitely become easier if this change happens.
Second best implementation of IPA would be notifications from the IPA to the users who use the applications regarding public transport. Let us assume that if a person travels to a specific place A to B frequently, then an automatic notification from IPA can be sent to the user telling all the possible routes and best ways of public transport, so that person can select the route that is best suitable to him in regards of time, speed and cost (Dia, 2002). This change is very beneficial for the people who travel regularly.
Another best execution of IPA could be to notify or updating traffic details to all public transport drivers so that they can check and select the best route accordingly to avoid delays in traffic (Basir & Miners, 2014). This change would help drivers in public transport to make their life easy by saving a lot of time.
IPA could be used to give instructions on specific dynamic routes to drivers of public transport before arriving at bus stop or train station so that they can choose the route that meets the demand of maximum passengers (Shimoura & Tenmoku, 1994). This change can be described as best with the help of example of a lift system in any organization’s building, where an option is available for people to choose from as floor number where they have to go. They can select the floor number and when number of people going to a specific floor is more than people going to the other floors, then as a priority that lift would come first where there are more people waiting.
Factors or constraints that make the impact Updates to drivers about instructions or directions of dynamic route might prevent it occurring:
Process Model Diagram is described below for the impact of Voice Assistance in public transport industry. Let’s assume if a person lost his mobile or any other property in any type of public transport of Punjab, the process flow will be as described below:
Fill form for lost property
Swimlane diagram for the above process:
Explanation of the above diagram of Process Model – Let us assume if any person lost his property or any belongings in the public transport in Punjab then he is needed to follow a process to let the transport office know about his lost property and to get it back. On the very first step he needs to visit the Punjab Public Transport Website and fill a form of lost property available on the website which will require description of his lot property and his personal details as well. When this form is received by the transportation office, a complaint will be registered. Then there will be two possibilities of this situation, one is property found and other is property not found. If the property is found a notification asking the person property found and please collect it from the Lost Property Office and, if it is not found then notification telling property not found will be sent to the person. There are many drawbacks of this process if person is lodging his complaint manually which are as follow:
To overcome all these drawbacks, the process mentioned above can be automated or made easy for the person just by using the voice assistance over smartphones to make a complain. So after using Voice Assistance in the Public Transport system Swimlane Diagram will be like this:[image: ]
To conclude, it can be said that technology is impacting each and every industry at all the time. In this report, we have seen how Intelligent Personal Assistance can impact Public Transport. Also, the factors or constraints that make the impact that might prevent it occurring are described. Concisely, we can say that impact of technology is increasing every single day in every single industry.
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