With 70 per cent of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050 – a substantial increase from 55 per cent today – cities around the world are looking to maximize the use of their resources with artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies.
Today Amadeus announces the creation of a taskforce dedicated to leading its new Smart Cities offer in Asia Pacific, enabling Smart Mobility for the world’s most densely populated cities and changing the way we will live and travel in the future.
Smart Mobility, how people travel into and move around a city, is integral to governments’ plans worldwide to develop their urban spaces into Smart Cities in order to bring greater efficiency as we grow into a larger, more interconnected world.
Spanning the breadth of the travel industry, Amadeus is uniquely positioned to be at the heart of the development of Smart Cities. Amadeus’ offer will leverage the company’s IT backbone to enable true mobility across the entire travel journey, creating seamless door-to-door travel experiences. Led by Simon Akeroyd, Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Asia Pacific at Amadeus, the Smart Cities offer will help cities best use existing infrastructure and new technology in order to improve tourism as well as residents’ daily commutes.
“As urbanization increases and governments are faced with challenges around traffic congestion, pollution, inadequate energy and resources, it will be vital for cities to harness technologies to solve complex problems,” says Akeroyd. “The future of travel will be driven by multi-modal journeys and data to deliver more personalized and smart experiences. The rise of Smart Cities will boost travel and tourism, and so the public and private sector must collaborate to share data and use technology. When done successfully, we believe that this will enable the immersive travel experiences and services that citizens and travelers expect in the future.”
Amadeus will collaborate with the public sector and governments to deliver solutions that enable the Smart Cities of the future. In 2017, Amadeus committed US$800 million to research and development for innovation globally, half of which was directly linked to technologies that furthered its Smart Mobility initiatives – including biometrics, traveler identification, IoT, massive data platforms and passenger handling solutions. In addition to this investment and to further its commitment to Smart Cities, 2016 and 2017 saw Amadeus invest a total of US$1.5 billion across strategic focus areas including Airport IT and Hotel IT through acquisitions.
Asia is a strategic focus for Amadeus’ Smart Cities solution, given 22 of the 39 megacities worldwide are in Asia Pacific, and 11 alone are in China. Additionally, Asia’s large population and emerging middle class means the next billion Asian travelers are just around the corner, with half of global air passenger traffic expected to come from Asia by 2030.
Amadeus is currently working on a number of key projects in Asia Pacific that support Asia’s Smart Cities’ initiatives. Some of these include:
- Smart Tourism – Amadeus is working closely with National Tourism Boards in Asia to help cities attract more inbound travelers and have a better understanding around their preferences. This is done through both Travel Intelligence and Digital Advertising, using big data to help cities make better decisions.
- Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and Amadeus worked together to deploy the world’s first hot-swappable battery powered movable check-in kiosks, called iCUSS, with both a self-service and full-service mode, reinventing the entire check-in experience. The versatile cloud-based mobile kiosks are powered by Amadeus’ common use technology and can be rapidly deployed and relocated for use by the traveler to check-in themselves or by the airport staff to provide full-service operations. The airport can now say goodbye to different systems and fixed locations, meaning greater freedom and flexibility to serve passengers throughout their journey to and around the airport.
Amadeus’ new Smart Cities taskforce builds on existing mobility projects across Amadeus’ global business. One example is the European Union (EU)’s ‘The Shift to Rail (S2R) Innovation Program 4,’ which uses Amadeus’ IT solutions to deliver fully integrated, multimodal passenger services for long and short trips in Europe. Another example of innovation in this field from Amadeus’ Airlines team is a partnership with Lufthansa, where the airline is using Amadeus’ facial recognition technology to vastly reduce passenger boarding times at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).