London buses will offer in-journey WiFi services as part of new technology trials being led by Transport for London (TfL).
TfL said the WiFi service will be trialled on the route 12 bus, between Dulwich and Oxford Circus, and the route RV1 bus, which operates between Covent Garden and Tower Hill. If successful TfL is hopeful that sponsors for the WiFi services may be found, to help provide free access.
TfL said the buses in the trial will have two units installed, each fitted with two sim cards, connected to two different networks. The unit will use the strongest connection it is receiving to broadcast WiFi. The sim cards have 4G connectivity so high-speed WiFi should be available.
TfL already offers free WiFi on the London Underground, with services provided by Virgin Media to all UK smartphone customers free of charge.
TfL also announced trials to provide digital seat information so that people boarding a double-decker bus can see how many seats are free upstairs. This will be trialled on the route 141 bus between Palmers Green and London Bridge.
Finally, TfL will also trial new digital display screens on buses that will present more information about the journey. This will include details on upcoming bus stops, anticipated arrival times and transport interchanges.
This technology will be trialled on two double-decker buses on route 12 and on two single-deck routes: the 360, which operates between Albert Hall and Elephant & Castle, and RV1.
Simon Reed, TfL's Head of Technical Services Group, said the trials should help prove if the new services help benefit passengers using the London bus transport network.
"London buses have always led the way with new technology on its network, benefitting the millions of passengers who make the most of the extensive network every day,” he said.
“We have worked with our suppliers to find new and innovative ways to further improve the experience of our passengers.”
The announcement is just one of many advances in technology taking place on the London transport network, with plans for a Congestion Charge app and contactless payment capabilities among other recent announcements from TfL.
For more information on mobility, visit the Intel IT Center.
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