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Passenger Tracking Systems: A Behind the Scenes CX Technology

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As the travel industry sputters toward recovery, those in the industry are turning an eye toward technologies that ease painful operational issues, and that provide a positive experience and impression for customers. The patterns of moving through an airport or other travel hub are not something a traveler often thinks about during their journey, unless their movement is stymied by crowds, lines, and delays. There has been an increasing number of implementations of different technology types to relieve crowding and allow for a more pleasant travel experience.

A recent Dash Research article, “Airport CX: Choice, Choices … Wait in Line or Read a Book While Sipping a Beverage?” touches on some virtual line technologies that allow travelers to select a time they would like to pass through security or join a line virtually and receive a notification when it is their turn to join. Another type of technology that helps improve passenger traffic flow through airports is the passenger tracking system. Some of these technologies rely on sensor systems, while others leverage a variety of signals. London Gatwick Airport recently selected Veovo’s Passenger Predictability Solution. This artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced cloud software takes in data from any source and can provide real-time awareness of people’s movements and experiences in certain terminal security areas.

Dash Research recently spoke with Nick Delyani, director of retail, North America at Xovis to gain a better understanding of the benefits of these types of passenger tracking solutions. Switzerland-based Xovis, provides intelligent people flow solutions across airports, retail, transportation, and smart buildings. The use of passenger tracking systems allows for a view of physical distancing in crowded spaces (including AI-based mask detection), optimized use of sanitary facilities (which ones are very busy and need more cleaning,  and, which should open/close, crowd management at security and check-in, and lines at airport retail outlets. Xovis is a sensor-based system, unobtrusively mounted in the ceiling. The 3D sensors use AI and can process data on the device, which enables counting people in line in accordance with data protection requirements. Each person’s coordinates are represented as a dot on a dashboard and airport staff can view the information in real time to quickly address staffing issues and line management.

LaGuardia Airport (NYC) has been incorporating the Xovis system in the newly revamped Terminal B Arrivals and Departure Hall. There are more than 45 Xovis 3D sensors in use both indoors at security screening points and outside at the taxi stand. The data is turned into key performance insights about wait times, processing times, and passenger throughput, and then displayed on a dashboard. Additionally, wait times can be calculated and displayed so that travelers also have a view of what to expect, taking some of the uncertainty out of the experience.

According to Delyani, adoption at airports is increasing as customers are wanting a seamless journey from drop off to the gate and Xovis now has it systems in 110 airports. There are regions of the world where travelers have multiple choices of airports or travel hubs. Ease of movement, short lines, and clean facilities can be factors that cause customers to choose or avoid certain airports. Additionally, smaller airports, competing to grab customer share, also need to provide a strong CX and those facilities are also looking toward systems such as these. Passenger flow management is a “behind the scenes” type of CX technology, but it is one that can support the goal of frictionless and frustration-free travel.

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