April 08, 2019 22:48 CET

Keeping Public Transport Running On Road, Rail & Sea

IoT adds value to the public transportation industry test

Tele2 IoT connectivity helps Västtrafik manage public transport in western Sweden, making everyone’s journey smoother and more enjoyable. Västtrafik transports nearly one million passengers each day via train, tram, boat, and bus – that’s equal to nearly 12 trips around the globe – and Tele2 IoT is part of the glue that holds things together.

Operating in both rural and urban areas of western Sweden, Västtrafik is the engine that keeps people moving, via 1 857 buses, 101 trains, 263 trams, and 36 ferries.

“Almost one million people in Västra Götaland take public transport every day, and more than one million people use our travel app,” says Daniel Ulfheden, Manager of Telephone Communication at Västtrafik. “By connecting our entire ecosystem, which includes not just vehicles but also bus stops, information boards, and the app, we are able to give real time information to our customers, and are also able to act quickly when there is a problem.”

Västtrafik procures the vast majority of its fleet from sub-contractors, so having a unified transportation platform is vital to operations. It enables them to to consolidate data from all the public transport in the region, allowing them to optimize routes and plan the entire transport grid more efficiently. This, in turn, gives customers a unified view from one source, making their journey easy to plan and execute.

We operate with public tax money, so it’s critical that we use that money efficiently to provide consistent quality of service.

“We operate with public tax money,” explains Daniel. “So it’s critical that we use that money efficiently to provide consistent quality of service that meets the public’s needs. IoT helps us do this extremely well by giving us the information we need in order to respond quickly to immediate issues and also to plan long-term.”

IoT in Practice

Connected computers are installed on 2 500 vehicles. Data is generated around the clock and several parts of the ecosystem communicate in real time, such as buses sending information to a central system that provides real time updated departure prognoses to bus stop electronic displays, as well as the planning app.

Vehicle computers also measure other things, such as connecting the vehicle to the right route on its first run of the morning, measuring the time it arrives and leaves, the distance covered, the number of trips made, and the number of tickets validated. Vehicle connectivity also provides communication between the driver and Västtrafik’s operations center and all of this contributes to valuable data, which is then used to optimize the public transport system.

All connected transportation vehicles and the displays used by Västtrafik are equipped with Tele2 SIMs and managed via the self-service portal Cisco Jasper in order to ensure a complete over view of its connectivity, such as with the company’s 1 400 real time information signs. These signs allow them to give customers up-to-the-minute information about things like delays, arrival times, and when the next bus, train, tram, or ferry will arrive.

We had very specific requirements in the tender … Tele2 IoT was the only one able to deliver pricing based on our requirements.

The company’s IoT journey began in early 1990s, and has developed a lot over the years. The collaboration with Tele2 on telematics started 2010 and in 2016, after a successful tendering process, Västtrafik migrated to Tele2´s new IoT-platform. Daniel Ulfheden says he is very pleased with the performance of the new IoT-system and with the TMCC (JASPER) interface.

“We had very specific requirements in the tender to have a pricing model that would automatically result in lower GB-cost the more we communicate without having to mess with different rate plans for every individual SIM,” says Daniel. “Tele2 IoT was the only one able to deliver pricing based on our requirements.“

“The Tele2 IoT local roaming feature gives Västtrafik the possibility to, at a low cost, use other Telecom operators networks when the Tele2 networks are unavailable, thus securing that all IoT-dependent systems on vehicles, such as ticket machines, positioning system, passenger counting etc., are always connected. This is important overall, but particularly in more rural areas.”

Daniel says Tele2 IoT support has been terrific, both during set up of Cisco Jasper and the rollout of the connectivity.

What does the future hold?

“The future for public transport is of course all about sustainability and informatics/Intelligent Transport systems/Automation,” says Daniel. “Västtrafik set up high environmental goals in 2006 and is reaching most of them – and in some cases have already surpassed them.

“The long term commitment to sustainable public transport and the high level of sustainable fuels was rewarded with the number one ranking among sustainable and innovative cities in both 2016 and 2017.

The most recent project is the launch of trunc bus Line 55, together with Volvo, which is an electric bus that can even make stops inside buildings!
In 2019 another trunc bus line will be electrified and hopefully we can also launch an electric ferry line next year.”

In order to meet its sustainable goals, Västraffik needs to deploy a lot more electric buses. By using informatics the company also hopes to be able to operate vehicles in a more energy-efficient manner. Autonomous vehicles will probably have a significant impact on public transport during the next decade and IoT with high capacity is vital for that development.

Being on time and being even more efficient than they are today – with the help of Tele2 IoT Västtrafik is on the right track.

 

Top Business Benefits

  • Rural & urban transportation needed great connectivity & overview
  • Different types of devices connected
  • Need for flexible pooling & pricing
  • Easy and effective tool to manage thousands of assets


Västtrafik: 5 Fun Facts

  • 1 000 000 regular daily trips
  • 7 000 special trips
  • 1 880 buses, 106 trains, 263 trams, 36 ferries
  • Travel planner app used 1-2 million times daily
  • Nearly 12 trips around the globe each day