National Express has followed in the footsteps of Virgin Trains by launching its own on-board infotainment app, called VUER (view, unwind, enjoy, relax). It’ll land on November 28th and will hit 282 coaches serving 'key routes' this year, before rolling out to National Express’ entire fleet by June 2017.
Powered by GoMedia, it offers a selection of TV shows, documentaries, magazines and regularly refreshed news snippets. National Express says it’s going to update content regularly, relying on feedback from consumers, but the biggest highlights at launch will be Soccer AM and Sky Sports News.
Movies will come to VUER in January 2017, with city guides, audiobooks, podcasts and magazines -- such as Top Gear, TimeOut and Marie Claire -- to follow. The company’s still in the process of working out how to tackle music though, as Spotify’s the service of choice for much of the population, and there would be little point in trying to take on the big boys with a watered-down alternative.
"We are thrilled to launch the UK’s first coach infotainment system, which will greatly enhance the travelling experience for the millions of people who use us each year and we’re particularly pleased to be the first to offer Sky Sports News," said MD of National Express UK Coach, Tom Stables.
"Customers will benefit from films, TV and magazines – as well as news and weather updates – completely free of charge, leaving them free to truly unwind, relax and get the most out of their journey."
National Express is pretty confident its free Wi-Fi service, which uses 3G and 4G signals, will stand up to the task of serving up to 48 passengers at a time, though you’d better remember to pack your own headphones for the journey.
The VUER app will be available to iOS and Android users, but Windows Phone users can access a limited amount of content through their browser.