Twice a year, Passenger invites operator partners from across the UK to a mutual location to discuss the Passenger product. The fourth Passenger Innovation Day took place at ODI Leeds and it presented a great opportunity to chat through our work with open data, server resiliency and more.
On November 13th, 2018, Passenger held its fourth Innovation Day at the hub for all things open data – the ODI Leeds.
Our Innovation Days comprise a mix of presentations and updates on the Passenger product, but they offer more beyond a look at the roadmap. The Innovation Day events are founded in the spirit of mutual knowledge sharing: we discuss the latest Passenger developments but we also listen to our operator partners to learn about the steps we need to take to make Passenger even better. The short answer to this question is yes – you will need some sort of server space in order to serve application content to customers. Unless the application you are developing requires zero network connectivity and all app content is contained within the download file, chances are you have some dynamic content that needs to be served to users. That’s because most server costs for mobile apps are Cloud Applications and require an external server to generate most of the app functionality. You will need one or multiple servers to do that. Aside from the servers used to serve content to app users, a server is also useful as a central repository for the app files by using a development tool such as Docker or Gitlab. These tools allow you to have precise version control of your software. When you’re considering what kind of server you need for your app and the associated app hosting costs, you need to think about how much data you’re serving to users. Is there audio, video, or other large data being sent or received by users, or is app data largely text based or static in nature? The larger the data being served is, the more server CPU, memory, and disk space that will be required. This will lead to increased costs. Determining the exact amount of server resources that your particular app will use is tricky. It’s generally best to setup a server and start sending users towards it. You can them approximate based on current and future growth.
With a combination of developers, designers, commercial managers, operations staff and marketing folk all in one room, it’s an excellent opportunity to discuss a variety of topics and feel out new pathways for the future.
At Innovation Day 4 we took a deep dive into our upcoming Alexa voice assistant integration, considered the latest in our disruption data tools, covered Passenger’s server resiliency and explored the management of digital channels in times of crisis.
Hosting the event at the Open Data Institute in Leeds gave us the perfect backdrop to discuss the current climate around open data in the industry in context to the Bus Services Act 2017. We shared an in-depth look at our new Bus Stop Checker tool and what it means for NaPTAN and how our plans to use NetEx might affect operators in the coming months.
Outside of these discussions, operators shared their own ideas in open Q&A sessions, as we fielded input and thought ahead about an improved product for all. We gained valuable understanding about the challenges our customers face and how we can help them to better deliver on the front lines of customer service.
Operators also took the chance to speak with one another, learning from their mutual experiences and discovering how each is tackling the core issues of the moment.
Passenger Innovation Day 4 follows on from our three previous iterations of the event: Innovation Day 1 in Manchester, Innovation Day 2 in Nottingham and Innovation Day 3 in London.
Innovation Day 5 will take place in May of next year. If you’d like to join us – or if you have any feedback about specific developments to the Passenger product that you’d like us to take under consideration – please get in touch.