Newest Know-how to Enhance Communication

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Gabriel Morey
Clever Transportation Coordinator

Alexandria, Va. – When the Alexandria Transit Firm (DASH) first put in our Intelligent Gadgets CAD/AVL system, our targets had been easy: meet ADA compliance and dispatch extra effectively. We wished to fulfill the general public expectation of offering real-time info, however it was a nice-to-have, not a necessity. Now, DASH considers real-time knowledge a core a part of our service.

DASH has embraced real-time arrival predictions as a result of they make transit simpler to know and use. Schedules are guarantees to prospects, however they arrive with caveats exterior the company’s management, particularly in a heavy-traffic metropolis like Alexandria. On this setting, real-time predictions don’t simply inform prospects when the bus will arrive—they reassure them that the bus is on the best way. Service alerts about schedule adjustments, detours and cease closures additional cut back uncertainty, constructing belief that DASH will get you to your vacation spot even when your regular cease is closed. Nevertheless, we now have realized that we should submit as quickly as incidents occur—the usefulness of an alert system is barely as sturdy as employees’s means to keep up it.

How has a small company like DASH been in a position supply such expansive real-time companies? First, we took an incremental method, beginning with the DASH Tracker. We now have intentionally expanded from there, first with real-time arrival indicators and now with the upcoming OneBusAway deployment. We additionally sought exterior funding wherever potential, successful grants from the Virginia Division of Rail and Public Transit (DRPT), the Northern Virginia Transportation Fee (NVTC) and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) which have paid for our digital arrival indicators. Nevertheless, grants are usually not everlasting, so we’re launching a signage-leasing program the place native enterprise and residential communities can hire indicators from DASH. This program will enable enterprise to take pleasure in the advantages of an indication for much less cash than shopping for outright whereas defraying the prices for DASH.

Lastly, we now have cultivated relationships which have helped us increase our real-time programs. For example, Metrobus owns many of the solar-powered indicators in Alexandria, however we share sources to buy, set up, monitor and preserve them. The identical goes for the LCD shows we’ve put in at native flats, authorities places of work and the area people faculty—in every location, we’ve established a memorandum of settlement that shares the price of the signal.

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Transit must be a utility, one thing as dependable and anticipated because the water from our faucet or electrical energy from the grid. Whereas real-time knowledge won’t unsnarl visitors or cut back dwell time, it reassures prospects that they won’t be stranded. With artistic pondering and gradual, regular work, even small businesses like DASH can take pleasure in the advantages of real-time knowledge.

DASH presently offers real-time predictions in 3 ways— (1) the web-based DASH Tracker; (2) third-party apps (notably the Transit app); and (three) a community of over 20 solar-powered digital arrival indicators jointly-managed by DASH and DC Metro. Going ahead, we’re launching the DASHBus cellular cost app that hyperlinks to the Transit app, putting in extra digital arrival indicators and deploying OneBusAway to combine with Metro’s BusETA. We think about real-time predictions as so very important that we even employed Cambridge Systematics to create a prediction-engine fueled solely by GPS knowledge from bus routers, so that in this summer time’s Metrorail platform enchancment undertaking, our contingency buses with out Intelligent Gadgets will nonetheless present estimates for patrons. 

Maria Waddy

North American Product Lead

Icomera US, Inc.

Rockville, Md. – With the emergence of good cities, IoT and 5G applied sciences, the significance of dependable, safe, real-time onboard communications for public transportation autos is ever rising.

Connectivity to the automobile by way of mobile, satellite tv for pc, radio and devoted short-range communication (DSRC), in addition to onboard connectivity by way of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ethernet, ends in a extremely subtle cellular communications community. Whereas being a large funding for any company, choosing the proper answer can ship nice returns.

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To get essentially the most out of their community and onboard programs, transportation operators and businesses want to think about the community connectivity, tools, administration instruments, security and the advantages for operational effectivity and the passenger expertise.

The primary consideration is the connectivity to, from and on-board the automobile. Community pace, reliability and security are key elements that should be thought-about. The answer should be capable of deal with the information throughput of wi-fi connections, ship the bandwidth for the information wants of the automobile and supply most uptime for real-time knowledge communications for automobile programs and passengers.

The onboard tools – comparable to routers, antennas and entry factors – wants to have the ability to face up to the cellular setting with a minimal footprint to slot in the restricted house on board. It must be future-proof and dependable with the intention to present years of service, benefiting from the company’s funding. Multi-function tools with built-in GPS, storage, reminiscence and knowledge processing capabilities that may host a number of third-party purposes, comparable to video surveillance, automobile situation monitoring, passenger counting and passenger info and leisure programs, reduces the quantity of kit put in on the automobile decreasing preliminary infrastructure investments and ongoing operational and upkeep prices.

The power to handle and monitor the community with built-in administration instruments in real-time with 24/7 help permits for max community efficiency and uptime of real-time purposes. Monitoring communication community protection, sign energy and automobile location in real-time, figuring out and repairing inoperable parts and controlling knowledge limits and utilization maximizes efficiency and helps management prices. Actual-time reporting and analytics instruments give managers higher insights into their programs to make operational choices quicker, based mostly on precise situations.

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The answer’s knowledge safety and data security capabilities and adherence to trade requirements, comparable to ISO 27001 and GDPR, must be thought-about as effectively with the intention to shield businesses and riders. Integration with public security networks and the addition of purposes comparable to real-time video surveillance also can enhance passenger security and cut back legal responsibility and danger to the company. The administration instruments also needs to proactively monitor community visitors for suspicious exercise and assist businesses determine and reply to cyber threats.

A high-bandwidth connection for riders not solely permits passengers to be related and productive on their journeys, it additionally offers a possibility for businesses to attach with their passenger group with custom-made portals for Wi-Fi entry, real-time passenger and ticketing info, onboard leisure, retail and promoting purposes, together with location-based promoting based mostly on route info and automobile location. It additionally permits businesses to extend model consciousness and gather helpful ridership info that can be utilized for advertising and marketing and outreach functions and knowledge mining.

Investing in the appropriate onboard connectivity answer can present wonderful returns. Companies can optimize automobile and fleet operations to scale back prices, enhance the passenger expertise to extend ridership and revenues and supply extra monetization alternatives for businesses.




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