In February 2021, tram 35 from West Midlands Metro in England became the first fully-realised 5G enabled tram - part of a trial undertaken by West Midlands Metro (WMM), West Midlands 5G (WM5G), GoMedia and its parent company Icomera (ENGIE Solutions).
The tram and a number of tram stops have been equipped with an innovative trial Transport Accessibility solution which can be rolled out to public transport without the need for expensive electronic hardware solutions.
Transport Accessibility looks to solve the problem of a lack of real-time information for those who need more help when travelling on the UK public transport network.
The focus of the trial is to increase the number of independent journeys the visually impaired can make whilst travelling across the public transport network. Developed in collaboration with the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB),it will provide timely and accurate information to passengers who need additional assistance while in a station or on the transport network. Relevant information is transmitted to passengers’ devices in the format that they require, over 5G cellular networks
Future tertiary benefits of the solution include services for all passengers such as live tv, live radio and streamed content across the network.
Roger Matthews – Managing Director of GoMedia: ‘’Our Vision and Transport Accessibility solution proves that we want to bring the best solutions to our transport clients. Together with our partners and our Passenger Information System we are able to bring revolutionary products to our clients.’’
Chris Holmes, Programme Director – Transport at WM5G said: “We are really pleased to be awarding funding to projects that we truly believe – when proven – will transform transport within the region. We look forward to seeing what our new partners deliver and will support them in the realisation of real and tangible benefits.”
John Worsfold, Innovation and Technology Implementation Manager at RNIB, said: “Technology has and continues to open up the world for people with sight loss, and this opportunity has the potential to increase access to relevant information whilst travelling for blind and partially sighted people.
“We’re delighted to be supporting this initiative in raising the bar of independently accessing information whilst making journeys, and the benefits this will bring for people with sight loss in the West Midlands.”
The solution will be demonstrated in Q1 2021 on a West Midlands Metro tram. If you are interested to see a demonstration of the live trial, you can contact GoMedia at firstname.lastname@example.org