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MTR Corporation brings home two major awards for transportation at 2023 HKB Technology Excellence Awards

It sets a new standard for smart mobility solutions, elevating customer experience, efficiency, and inclusivity whilst contributing significantly to Hong Kong's smart city development.

MTR Corporation Limited, a global leader in rail transport services, won two prestigious accolades in the transportation category at the 2023 HKB Technology Excellence Awards. The company has been awarded top honours in Smart Technology and Emerging Technology.

Redefining the Railway Experience: MTR's Smart Mobility Journey

In a world where urban populations are booming, cities face the challenge of providing efficient, inclusive, and sustainable transportation solutions. Passengers now expect seamless, digitised services, and the need for innovations addressing the environment, accessibility, and customer experience has never been greater.

Under the project titled "Go Smart, Go Beyond: A Smart and Inclusive Journey," MTR Corporation embarked on a groundbreaking mission to revolutionise public transportation. This visionary project directly addresses the pain points of modern urban commuters by providing best-in-class railway services and creating a more inclusive travelling experience. The initiative introduced over 10 innovative digital solutions in Hong Kong's railway services to drive digital transformation for both passengers and internal operating staff.

In the realm of digital transformation, manual processes like passenger information and ticketing were digitised. The digitalisation also provides passengers with more control over their journeys through real-time information. Simultaneously, "smart" elements were introduced into station facilities, enhancing operational efficiency and making services more accessible and convenient for all. These efforts spanned four key areas: customer services, ticketing, passenger information, and station operations, utilising technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), cashless ticketing, Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning.

For customer services, process automation played a pivotal role in empowering passengers with self-service at their fingertips whilst relieving staff from repetitive procedures. For instance, the introduction of digitalised application processes for concessionary travel schemes streamlined administrative tasks and made it easier for passengers to access benefits. An online lost property platform was also implemented, allowing passengers to recover their lost belongings efficiently.

MTR also took significant steps towards modernising the ticketing process. The introduction of cashless ticketing systems, which included multiple payment options, such as digitalised ticket purchases and QR code ticketing, transformed the way passengers accessed and paid for their fares. This not only aligned with the global trend towards cashless transactions but also simplified the ticketing process, reducing wait times and enhancing the overall convenience of using MTR services.

The passenger information aspect of the project aimed to provide passengers with real-time, personalised information to enhance their travel experience. Utilising IoT and machine learning technologies, MTR introduced features such as train car capacity information for the next arrival train. Passengers could make informed decisions about which train to board based on the real-time loading information, improving both comfort and safety. Additionally, next train arrival information and "Cross Harbour Easy" route guidance were implemented, making it easier for passengers to navigate the MTR network efficiently. These innovations empowered passengers with information that allowed them to plan their journeys more effectively.

To optimise station operations, MTR also embraced robotics and data-driven innovations. Smart toilets, equipped with advanced technology, were introduced to enhance the cleanliness and functionality of station facilities. These innovations not only improved the overall passenger experience but also contributed to operational efficiency, ensuring that MTR stations operated smoothly and efficiently.

Addressing the Future: MTR's Web3 Journey

For the Emerging Technology award, the company is recognised for its MTR Web3 Development Project. It was born out of the need to bridge the physical and digital worlds whilst embracing the potential of emerging Web3 technologies. This transformative initiative aimed to revitalise the customer experience and engage a younger demographic, comprising railway enthusiasts, Gen Z, and Web3 aficionados.

It also made history by becoming the world's first transport operator to enter the metaverse through a groundbreaking partnership with The Sandbox. This collaboration empowered MTR to offer customised experiences and services whilst tapping into the decentralised and open platform's potential. 

The project's innovative use of new and disruptive Web3 technologies, presented in an easily digestible format, drew widespread interest and engagement. In the metaverse, the project garnered over 100,000 visits and an impressive game rating of 4.4 out of 5, the highest amongst all metaverse experiences in the same season.

MTR remains dedicated to its mission to "Keep Cities Moving" by shaping a more connected, sustainable, and inclusive tomorrow through technology-driven transportation solutions.

The Hong Kong Business Technology Excellence Awards is presented by Hong Kong Business Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2024 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's outstanding contributions in pursuit of technological innovation, please contact Julie Anne Nuñez at [email protected].

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