This article was originally featured in the edition: TaaS Magazine - Issue 1

The Future of Travel


The ways technology will change, how we travel in 2018 and beyond, Mike Croucher Chief Architect for travel commerce platform Travelport, shares his top travel technology predictions with TaaS Magazine:


1. Voice Search

IBM was one of the first to bring voice search assistants into the travel experience with the launch of their Watson-enabled robot concierge, "Connie" in Hilton Hotels in 2016, but Mike predicts that, "Leaps in technology will see more and more travel apps and hardware integrating voice and natural language search into their user interfaces in 2018, sparked by the mainstream success of the Amazon Alexa.

"Consumers will be able to talk to their digital assistant, whether through their smartphone, Alexa or other device to check flight details, search for a hotel or book tickets immediately."

The difference in adoption of voice search across different parts of the world is significant. Travelport's recent Digital Traveller research showed that while just 33% of consumers in the UK had used voice search, 72% in China had. But in the US, the number of smartphone owners using voice assistants has doubled to more 60% in just 2 years. Expect to use your voice more and your fingers less in 2018.

2. AI Driven Travel Platforms

"Consumers are increasingly expecting to interact with their preferred brands through the channels they use every day, like instant messaging and social media, instead of opening a different app every time they want to do something. This behaviour change, combined with recent leaps in the accuracy and affordability of AI and machine learning means that suddenly there is both a huge amount of data and advanced machine learning that can analyse and understand it, offering a highly personal and accurate service.

"Use of AI among travel firms will explode in 2018, further blurring the boundaries between tech companies and travel companies as they increasingly use AI driven by data and analytics to analyse the customer searches and tailor results based on supply and demand. Powered by platforms with built-in intelligence and learning, travel providers will have the capability to know prospective customers were discussing a flight to South America and proactively push offers," says Mike.

Google Trips have led the way here, offering location and time-based updates to travellers, and acting as a platform service rather than a particular travel product.

3. Mixed Reality Travel Experiences

It's been a bit of a mixed year for VR, with consumer adoption not taking off as some commentators had predicted. But Mike believes, "The travel industry could be one of the places that Mixed Reality (MR), the amalgamation of both VR and AR make the biggest impact by offering immersive and interactive digital travel destination experiences to help provide inspiration."

"Mixed Reality is going to be a real game changer", says Mike. "Travel companies are starting to offer immersive experiences into a destination to allow customers to feel and experience the trip in advance." Virgin Holidays have already started using VR as part of the holiday buying process and Airbnb uses AR to give visitors the chance to experience their accommodation before they travel.

And on the trip itself? Well, MR will allow you to feel like you're in the thick of the action. That could mean anything from visiting Kings Cross station to see Harry Potter pelt towards Platform 9¾ or witnessing Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech live from the Lincoln Memorial. With Microsoft HoloLens already offering MR, enabling users to engage with digital content and interact with holograms in the world around them, tourists will soon be able to capture and share their own MR holiday memories.

4. Blockchain

Over the past three years more than 2,500 patents have been filed and over 90 corporations have joined blockchain consortia. This year alone blockchain initiatives have received over $2 billion of funding, but this is the just the early stage; Whilst still in the early stages of adoption in the travel industry, Lufthansa is already exploring possible applications of the technology and has partnered with a blockchain travel platform. Travelport expects its adoption to increase exponentially into 2018 before the technology becomes mainstream by 2025.

"In 2018, blockchain will make further headlines as more travel companies start accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. Blockchain also has potential to transform the way the entire travel industry processes and manages online payments, enabling direct peer to peer payments and essentially cutting out the middleman. "The sharing economy has flourished under Uber and Airbnb. However, users have to rely on an intermediary like Uber to hail a ride. Blockchain opens the door to direct interaction between parties "” resulting in a truly decentralized sharing economy," says Mike.

What impact will technology disruption have on mobility and transportation?

The first trend I see is the growth of autonomous cars and electric driving that will blur the edges between taxis, car hire, ground transportation, and actually change the way society thinks about the buying of cars, the insurance industry and will cause a ripple that will impact the entire travel industry.

On air travel, this technology will lead to fragmentation and greater competition. As airlines have "˜unbundled' their offers (offering things like baggage separately), consumers have become a lot more used to managing the details of their trips themselves. The expansion of mobile platforms and people's abilities to self-serve will push this even further - allowing people to pick and choose all the services they want, rather than relying on one provider's offer. They will build their own flight connections through online hubs, creating very different travel patterns and causing even further fragmentation among the industry.

All these predictions are part of what Mike Croucher calls the "˜seamless travel experience'. "While travel has always been about escapism, today's traveller is looking for a simple, connected experience while researching, searching, booking and taking the trip," says Mike. "It's not enough to offer a great product any more. Travel companies must offer a great experience."

The Latest News, Brought To You By
The Future of Travel
Modified on Tuesday 13th February 2018
Find all articles related to:
The Future of Travel
TaaS Technology Magazine

Tuesday 9th - Wednesday 10th July 2019 @ The National Motorcycle Museum

Transportation-as-a-Service (TaaS) Technology will evolve in 2019 from the inaugural conference which took place in 2018, into two co-located conferences plus a shared exhibition. As per 2018 TaaS Technology will cover Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) and Future Mobility. The new co-located conference will look at 'Energising Future Mobility' and will focus on the key topics surrounding Electric Vehicles (EVs), Battery/Energy Technology and Infrastructure.

Places will be limited, so register your place today:
Greenlots Expands EV Fast Charging Infrastructure For Portland General Electric
Local Motors Deploys Autonomous Shuttles At Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall
LEVC Unveils New Electric Light Commercial Vehicle
Fastned Opens Its 100th Fast Charging Station
Iteris Delivers Connected Communities Infrastructure With Cisco’s Support
Sense Photonics Raises $26 Million To Advance Depth Sensing Technology
Applied Information And Commsignia Deploy C-V2X Technology In Washington
FCA Partners With Enel X And ENGIE To Offer Innovative Charging Solutions
Ford Launches The Third Generation Of Its Self-driving Vehicles
London May Need Around 50,000 Additional EV Charging Points By 2025
Volvo Group Partners With NVIDIA To Develop Advanced AI Platform For Autonomous Trucks
Volkswagen And Schwarz Group Partner To Install EV Fast Charging Stations
Israeli Company Claims To Fully Charge Electric Scooters In 5 Minutes
Peugeot To Launch The All Electric E-2008 SUV In Early 2020
Ola To Setup It’s Advanced Technology Centre In The Bay Area
Camion Transport And Migros To Test Mercedes-Benz EActros In Switzerland
Volvo Trucks Debuts Autonomous Transport Of Goods At Gothenburg Port
Seat And UFO Introduce Kicksharing In Málaga
Volkswagen Introduces New Software Unit
Hyundai And Kia To Investment In Aurora
Mapbox And Luxoft Partner To Bring AI And AR To In-Vehicle Navigation
Ottopia Announces Collaboration With Denso
ENGIE Acquires British EV Charging Solutions Provider ChargePoint
Upgraded Renault Zoe Features Greater Range
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the TaaS Magazine, the TaaS Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in: