First Bus has partnered with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology firm to revolutionise services for its customers following a successful rollout in West Yorkshire and the West of England.
The new three-year £4.5m partnership is with Prospective.io, an AI company whose software can automatically generate optimal timetables, schedules and real time fleet instructions.
Integration of the software will enable First Bus to improve the reliability of timetables and shift patterns, using AI to predict traffic conditions and peak running times to help ensure services run on time.
It will also allow full timetables to be created or adjusted and buses to be scheduled in minutes – a process that would typically take days to complete.
Following the successful trials in several cities across the country, First Bus has achieved a significant enhancement in service reliability while simultaneously reducing fleet operating costs and emissions through efficiencies.
Passengers have experienced improved service quality with the punctuality of services on trial routes having jumped over 20% in many cases.
Additionally, Prospective’s software can be used to identify where bus priority interventions such as parking enforcement and restrictions, bus lanes, bus gates, priority signals and traffic removal would have the biggest impact on travel times.
Simon Pearson, Chief Commercial Officer for First Bus, said: “The results we’ve achieved in West Yorkshire and the West of England have been incredible in such a short space of time, but we’re only scratching the surface of its potential.
“We’re excited to roll out this software and see the benefits it brings to our customers.”