Airport shuttle companies nationwide provide hundreds of thousands of passengers every year with shared rides to or from the airport. At the 7th largest airport in the world, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), alone, over 3 million people last year used a shuttle to LAX instead of private transportation. The new Apple iPad technology is leading to exciting new ways to optimize operations across this industry.
The first, most critical role that the iPadTM fills for this niche of the ground transporation industry is that of a communication device allowing the frontline fleet to keep in touch with the dispatch center. This provides for instant notification of new passengers arriving at the respective airports they serve. Fleet-wide notifications, reservation assignments and confirmations are easy to access and update due the custom HWeb Virtual Mobile Data Terminal (VMDT) software that was custom designed for this industry by The Hudson Group.
Additionally, the iPadTM, with its large 9.7 inch display with IPS technology, was deemed the best mapping and navigation tool for shuttle drivers. John Kindt, General Manager of PrimeTime Shuttle, which offers a shuttle from LAX and is utilizing the new Apple iPadTM technology stated, -In terms of mapping and providing an easily viewable screen, the iPadTM gave us a hardware platform that was head and shoulders above everything else on the market. The ability to pick and choose navigation apps from a variety of top tier vendors made the choice to go with the Apple iPadTM even easier.-
Expanding beyond traditional transportation needs, the in-vehicle iPadTM also enables airport shuttle drivers to offer additional services to their passengers. An example is the ability to book future reservations for any major airport in the country. So as passengers prepare to leave town for a different city, arrangements can be made in advance to provide ground transportation for them at their destination.
Drivers are also able to use the iPad’sTM onboard Internet access to provide exceptional customer service. Drivers have the capability to check the status of a passenger’s flight, peek at the weather for a passenger’s destination city, and much more. The same portal that makes onboard Internet access available for the shuttle driver can also provide onboard wireless network access for passenger’s use during their ride.
-We have searched for a long time for a technological solution that could elevate a company’s standard of service across the entire fleet, be affordable enough for our companies to roll out on a large scale, and also be intuitive and easy to learn for the airport shuttle driver. The iPadTM met those requirements and more. Not to mention, it’s just cool! It generates a lot of excitement among the drivers and passengers alike just because of this,- said Rattan Joea, a founding member of Go Airport Shuttle, a consortium of the largest airport ground transportation companies worldwide.