Augmented reality guides passengers at Welsh stations

  • May 30, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Transport for Wales (TfW) has produced augmented reality maps of six of its biggest railway stations to help passengers feel more confident when using the rail network.

It is hoped the AR maps can be used to assist passengers who may be nervous about travelling, such as those visiting a station for the first time or people with mobility issues.

The interactive maps can be used to locate key areas in the stations including customer information screens, lifts, toilets, help points and waiting rooms.

Created by indoor wayfinding company Briteyellow, the first six maps to be created are of Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, Newport and Pontypridd in Wales, and Chester and Shrewsbury in England.

“These maps will enable customers to plan their journey through the station prior to their visit,” said Michael Davies, insights and innovation manager at Transport for Wales. “It’s really a great step towards improving the experience and accessibility needs of our customers, and I’m looking forward to seeing it develop further. It’s been fantastic to continue to work with the Briteyellow team, who were part of the first group to take part in the Lab by TFW innovation accelerator programme.”

As part of their submission to the Lab by TfW programme, Briteyellow created a way to improve communication about station facilities and availability to enable customers to find and interact with staff easily, while helping reduce stress for passengers and encourage self-service.

The has now been developed into the BriteWay-XR app, which is in the process of customer testing.

Since going through the Lab by TfW programme, Briteyellow has received funding from Catapult Connected after winning the UK Department for Transport’s first Accessibility Transport Research & Innovation Grants Programme, receiving up to £120,000 in funding.

It has also recently been announced as winner of funding through the Design Age Institute Transport Pathfinder Innovation Programme that looks to re-design the functionality of the app to make it truly inclusive and easy to use.