Monday 2 October 2023

PSG innovation workshop on “The metaverse: threat or opportunity for travel providers?” held on 14 September

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On 14 September, at the EY Wavespace in Rome, the second Passenger Services Group Innovation Workshop planned for 2023 took place: “The metaverse: threat or opportunity for travel providers?”

Vittorio Carta, Chair of the UIC Passenger Experts Subgroup, opened the Innovation Workshop and welcomed more than 30 participants, attending either in person or online.

Participants represented many different companies from the railway industry, including SBB, Trenitalia, FS, RFI, Renfe, PKP, MAV, FGC, Trafikvertet and UIC.

Following a quick round of introductions, Giuseppe Perrone, Innovation Consulting Italy Leader at EY, took the floor and provided an overview of the Web3 and the metaverse, exploring their features and their potential impacts across various industries by means of specific case studies.

Afterwards, Antimo Musone (EY) delivered a presentation to address the immersive technology application fields, market trends and technical components. The presentation was enriched by a hands-on demo aimed at showcasing the potential application of Extended Reality (XR) to rail coach prototyping, testing and evaluation.

Thereafter, Stefano Scarci (EY) focused on the implications of the metaverse for the travel industry and, more specifically, passenger rail. He covered the potential threats deriving from metaverse technologies, as well as the many opportunities, including, among others, applications of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in maintenance, training and sales, use cases involving NFTs, and the emerging role of digital twins in construction and asset management.

As guest speaker, Joe Scheidegger, Lead XR at SBB, took the stage to showcase leading edge applications of Extended Reality at SBB, including VR to experience the future vision of Bern station, AR for customer information, XR and Digital Twins to optimise maintenance processes, and VR-based training. He also introduced the “RAILverse” concept, an innovative platform supporting VR-training and other applications.

Participants were split into three groups for the breakout sessions, during which they were asked to brainstorm on the potential applications of metaverse-related technologies in the rail industry, considering three timeframes: quick wins in the short term (next two years), use cases in the medium term (2026-2029), and the long-term vision, assuming the metaverse becomes part of everyday life (2030 and beyond).

During the final plenary session, the outcomes of the breakout sessions were presented.

For further information, please contact Fabrice Setta at

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