Prior to working with TransportAPI Heathrow had worked with a number of developers to enhance the journey planning experience for their passengers. Different apps were built by different developers for different terminals on different platforms including for Android and iPhone. But when you have different apps, built by different developers then invariably you get different results which is a hugely frustrating experience for commuters.
Heathrow wanted to have a single source of truth for all inbound and outbound transport from the airport. They wanted to include car journey planning, public journey planning, train departures (live and schedules) from all terminals bus, train and underground.
“Because the information comes via RESTful API the integration was very simple. We look forward to our continuing partnership in the years to come” Stephen Glenfield, Digital Development Manager, Heathrow AIrport
Customisation of car journey planning is particularly challenging at Heathrow with a complicated and interwoven 3D geometry of roads. For example in some of the car parks in the central airport area cars might enter at ground floor level and exit at the top floor at the other end of the car park. This is complex for routing algorithms to understand and generally they will attempt to find a fixed centre point which is confusing and unhelpful for drivers. TransportAPI delivered exact custom places that differentiate exit and entrance dependent on which is the best route for every individual Heathrow driver.
TransportAPI also significantly improved poor quality industry data which had incorrectly represented bus departure points. Using the intelligence provided by the TransportAPI platform we could distinguish from what the live sources were telling us and what we knew to be incorrect significantly cleaning up the data to provide accurate bus departure points for all stops in Terminal 5.