Posted on November 2, 2018 by staff

AI helps Wales rugby fans descend on Scotland match


Wales rugby fans hoping for a trouble-free trip to the Principality Stadium when they face Scotland on Saturday are being helped by artificial intelligence.

The Welsh Rugby Union has partnered with smart transport company Zeelo to trial a new shuttle service to and from national team home matches at the Cardiff stadium.

The first game where fans will benefit is the inaugural Doddie Weir Cup match on Saturday, created in honour of the former Scotland lock now suffering from motor neurone disease.

Five routes have also been introduced for Wales’ other autumn international series matches against Australia, South Africa and Tonga.

Using data analytics related to WRU member clubs and fans, the transportation firm will assess demand for routes to the 74,500-seater arena from regions in the country currently operating limited transport journey options to the venue.

Zeelo operates using algorithms powered by AI in order to identify where there are major transport ‘black spots’ in terms of getting to rugby matches across the UK.

Customers are able to track their coach arriving in real time on the Zeelo app.

A WRU spokesperson said of the deal: “Zeelo’s interactive ‘smart’ service should be able to directly target problem areas around the country, where supporters find it most difficult to get to games, and also help create focal points at rugby clubs where likeminded travellers can gather to utilise this fantastic new offering.”

Barney Williams, co-founder of Zeelo, added: “This new service will help ensure that Welsh rugby is more accessible than ever to fans across Wales, as it looks to support fans who currently have difficulty travelling to and from rugby internationals at Principality Stadium.”

Welsh rugby is Zeelo’s latest client in the sports industry, following similar arrangements with football clubs Manchester City, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers, as well as rugby clubs including London Wasps.