Transport for NSW is turning to the Internet of Things to improve how customers experience public transport and the extent to which it is able to “sweat” public transport assets.

Executive director of digital products and services Chris Bennetts told the Salesforce world tour event in Melbourne that the agency is in a “discovery phase” for how it might be able to harness IoT.

With buses and other modes of transport fitted with Opal smart card readers and GPS technology, the agency is already collecting fleet movement data that is shared with commuters via real-time transport planning applications.

“That’s all Internet of Things,” Bennetts said.

“But what we really want to try to achieve through IoT is not only to provide our customers with better, more contextual information about the journeys they want to make, but also to use IoT to get much more effective use of the assets that we have on our network to really sweat them.

“If we can use IoT to help us develop a more responsive transport network that’s a big win for our customers, our asset maintenance costs and our operational costs as well.”

Transport for NSW is hoping to generate more ideas around IoT at its Future Transport Summit on April 18-19, which includes a stream specifically devoted to the Internet of Things.

“We’re in the space of [having] a lot of stuff, [but] we don’t quite know what the answer is [to unlock value through IoT],” he said.

“We’re looking to industry, academia and stakeholders to drive what that answer is.

“We’re excited about the space.”

Ry Crozier travelled to the Salesforce world tour in Melbourne as a guest of Salesforce.