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Traffic Flows Better with Digi TransPort® WR31

In a recent article for Network World, Deepak Puri nicely summarizes how the Internet of Things is improving the flow of traffic in smart cities. He references data from the Economist that sitting in traffic costs Americans $1700 per year in lost productivity and gas while our cars idle on the freeway (not to mention the stress and anxiety!).

automobile congestion in the morning rush hourBut smart cities are reducing those costs by connecting sensors such as inductive loops buried in the roadway, traffic cameras, and dynamic messages boards, smart cities around the world are improving the flow of traffic.

What’s more, smart cities can take advantage of these connected assets, and improve security and be more efficient in dispatching highway patrol or a service truck for a stalled vehicle. With high-bandwidth 4G LTE connections, Digi TransPort WR31 is helping smart cities around the globe connect their critical infrastructure in ways that improve services that ultimately makes our commute to work in the morning a little less stressful.

Learn more about how smart cities are connecting their critical infrastructure with Digi TransPort WR31>>

Tisséo Drives Innovation and A New Public Transit Vehicle Line with 4G Connectivity

As you may have experienced yourself, commuting is becoming a more connected experience. One public transit operator, Tisséo, focuses on this connectivity to ensure vehicles are running smoothly and that customers have the best experience possible. Tisséo is the public transit operator for the Toulouse metro area in the south of France that is responsible for more than 120 million trips last year spanning two subway lines, two tram lines, and 150 bus routes.

By Occitandu34 (own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia CommonsAs part of its ongoing investment in innovation, Tisséo plans to rollout a line of new 160 new Lineo rapid-transit vehicles that combine characteristics of trams and buses. According to Nicolas Boutté, project leader for Tisséo, the Lineo deployment represented an attractive opportunity to improve the rider experience. “Lineo vehicles will have embedded advertising-supported displays with real-time traffic, route, and location information for passengers,” he said. “But we needed more than our basic in-depot WiFi connectivity. We needed 4G connections out on the roads, so that the Lineo vehicles are continuously connected to our dispatch office.”

To seize the opportunity to deliver this enhanced experience to attract and retain riders, Tisséo turned to the Digi TransPort® WR44 to deliver cellular communications.

Learn more about how Boutté’s team selected the WR44 and plans to serve more than 100,000 commuters in the full case study here >>

Safe and Secure Traffic Control with Digi TransPort® WR31

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The security of our city’s critical infrastructures is vital to everyone’s safety, especially in the challenging world of traffic control that depends heavily on cabinets to collect, manage, and store critical data. This is why smart cities and intelligent transportation systems have specific requirements and guidelines that govern traffic and signal teams, municipal agencies, and the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Act to ensure safety and security across our transportation systems.

However, what happens if a traffic control cabinet is left unlocked and open? The new Digi TransPort® WR31 can provide an immediate alarming system to alert traffic and signal teams or municipal agencies to the fact that a cabinet is open or has been tampered with and immediately dispatch a truck to address the problem.

San Diego Traffic Cabinet

The Digi TransPort WR31 is a flexible, reliable 4G LTE router specifically designed for the challenges of traffic monitoring and control. The software-selectable support allows operators to standardize on one cellular device while maintaining continuous network connectivity. With Digi Remote Manager®, engineers have a single tool for configuring and managing multiple remote devices.

Read Digi TransPort WR31 for Intelligent Transportation Systems for more information>>

Demystifying PCI Compliance

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As a leading supplier of communications solutions for POS, kiosk, banking, and ATM markets for three decades, Digi knows the criticality of safeguarding credit and debit card transactions.Demystifying PCI Compliance

Still, confusion on how to meet the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) remains. For example, for the most part, there are no specific PCI certifications for network devices. This begs the question: what is PCI compliance and how is it achieved?

To find the answers, Digi offers the PCI-Compliant 4G LTE Networking with Digi Enterprise Routers white paper. This paper demystifies PCI certification and addresses meeting compliance with the Digi TransPort® family of 4G LTE routers. It presents an overview of PCI-DSS and the standard’s 12 key technical and operational requirements that merchants, processors, and service providers must satisfy.

It then introduces Digi TransPort 4G LTE Routers and how they comply with all 12 requirements, making them the world’s most secure commercial cellular routers.

Using Digi solutions, you can build PCI-compliant applications that protect credit card data processing and transmission.

Reading PCI-Compliant 4G LTE Networking with Digi Enterprise Routers, you’ll understand what’s needed for PCI-DSS compliance and how Digi offers the industry’s strongest support for this rigorous standard.

Read the white paper here >>

Small-Footprint Remote-Sensor Monitoring: The Future Is Now

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When you’re working for a major petrochemical company, inventory control isn’t merely a financial matter. That’s because a slow, undetected leak of a dangerous chemical substance can ultimately lead to significant safety concerns, and environmental/regulatory issues that can cost millions of dollars.

A major metro’s DPW team might be responsible for ensuring thousands of streets are operational on a 24×7 basis. Outages translate into lapses in public safety and unnecessary taxpayer expense. But how can they keep tabs on all of those fixtures?

Unfortunately, for organizations like these – and thousands of others facing the same dilemmas – the only feasible recourse has been to put technicians and repair teams on the road, logging thousands of miles each year to remote sites to manually check simple metrics like air quality, tank levels, pipeline pressures, valve statuses, light fixtures, and more. It’s a cost and headache that they’re eager to avoid – but the data is too important to avoid or ignore. In fact, the more difficult the data is to capture, the more valuable it often is.

Remote-sensor monitoring through wireless networks is the obvious – and long-sought – alternative, but too many barriers have prevented wide-scale adoption. Chief among these roadblocks: power consumption. Solar-powered wireless gateways are still not cost-feasible for industrial applications. Battery-powered cellular devices are another option, but until recently the costs of carriers’ rigid consumer-focused data plans (and the expense of the devices themselves) made them suitable for only a small subset of applications. Low-power WiFi networks and internal batteries can provide some coverage, but they require RF and network engineers to design, install, and maintain – expertise that is in high demand.

The Tide Is Turning

Fortunately, we’re seeing important changes that are making low- or no-power remote monitoring easy and cost-effective. First, cellular operators are recognizing that $30-50/mo. consumer data plans are a non-starter in the industrial space. Some carriers are now offering data plans of as little as 250 KB and compelling configurations and bundles that have driven prices down to $1-3/mo. High-volume customers are even seeing sub-$1 pricing.

Device costs have also plunged. Cellular gateways are now less than $20 for 2G and 3G modules. Similar dynamics are likely in the LTE space soon. And as M2M-friendly LTE CAT standards take hold in the coming years, we’ll see lower device costs, lower operating costs, and longer battery life – all with no need for a local wireless network to carry backhaul traffic.

Ultimately, it means we’re now able to deploy the small-footprint, no/low-power remote-sensor network that skips the truck rolls, cuts the costs, and increases visibility across the company’s entire asset portfolio. The new Digi Connect Sensor battery-powered cellular gateway lets companies and agencies finally deploy a no-infrastructure remote monitoring solution in virtually any harsh or remote environment.

Here’s more about the features of the Digi Connect Sensor:

  • Flexible power sources – Use a long-lasting (two to three years), non-rechargeable battery, power-saving sleep mode, and the option to draw power external sources (including solar) while using the internal battery as a backup.
  • Cellular choice – For global connectivity, Connect Sensor supports 3G HSPA+ with 2G fallback. North American users can also choose an LTE CAT 1 version.
  • Supports LTE CAT 1 – With support for LTE CAT 1, the band specifically created for IoT and M2M communications, Connect Sensor devices are highly efficient, consume less power, and are optimized for data transfer.
  • Sensor variety and flexibility – Connect Sensor can work with virtually any 4/20mA, Analog Out, Digital Out, or Pulsed Output sensor, and can power multiple external sensors, eliminating the need for external supplies or batteries.
  • Enterprise-grade security – You can implement security at the device, transport, and platform level.
  • Appropriate for harsh environments – A weatherproof NEMA 4 enclosure protects your sensors from the elements. It also features ATEX Group 2 and UL Class 1 Division 2 ratings.

Interested in learning more? Here are a number of resources to get you started:

Greater Detroit Area Transit Agency Turns to Digi to Monitor Bus Fleet

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Suburban Mobility Authority for Rapid Transit Authority (SMART), a transit agency in the Greater Detroit Area, was faced with the realization that their automatic vehicle location (AVL) system was old, slow and inefficient.

SmartSMART operates over 200 buses for over 23 hours every day. Monitoring these vehicles is essential to daily operations. But with 20-year-old infrastructure, the AVL was just not cutting it. SMART wanted more reporting and real-time information that they could share with their riders.

SMART decided to switch to cellular communication with voice over IP (VoIP). To implement this they decided to work with Clever Devices, a leading provider of communications and technology solutions. The centerpiece of Clever Devices’ solution was the Digi TransPort WR44 R cellular router.

The Digi TransPort WR44 R is purpose-made for transit agencies and authorities that need reliable communications for such things as security video, fare collection, dispatch, passenger Wi-Fi, and others.

SMART’s new cellular AVL has had a profound impact. Data and metrics that were never before available are already being used to anticipate vehicle breakdowns, expedite repairs, and minimize downtime. Additionally, Passengers are now able to text a number posted at their bus stop to receive real-time data from SMART about bus ETAs. This service is already receiving more than 10,000 queries per month.

Most importantly, the agency is getting a great ROI. SMART is saving at least $70,000 per year in hard costs with the Digi-based solution. In soft costs it is estimated that SMART may be saving anywhere from an additional $150,000 to $200,000.

Read more about how SMART saves more than $70,000 per year with Internet of Things technology here >>

Smart City Series: 4G LTE & Smart Infrastructure – Q&A Follow-Up

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If your inbox is anything like ours, it’s full of emails touting “Smart Cities” as the next big thing, but how are cities actually using cellular technology to run smarter?

In a recent webinar, Digi’s Cellular Product Manager, Andrew Lund, shared real-world examples of 3G/4G LTE in infrastructure applications, along with the challenges and questions that need to be answered to get there.

smart cities

Below, Andrew covers questions from the Q&A that we didn’t have time to answer live. If you’d like to watch the webinar recording and learn more about how Digi enables Smart Cities.

Miss the webinar? Here’s where you and watch the webinar recording and learn more about how Digi enables Smart Cities >>

What accelerated lifecycle testing have you performed on the Digi TransPort® WR31 and are you able to share your results?
Specific test results are shared on a business case basis and only under NDA, but we can share that the WR31 was subjected to a Highly Accelerated Life Test (HALT) in line with our standard testing.  This testing is divided into three sections: temperature, vibration and a combination of vibration and temperature.

In each section, the Unit Under Test (UUT) is tested at the operational limit, the functional limit, and the destructive limit (if applicable). For the WR31, the functional limit was above the operating limit, meaning it functioned above and beyond the threshold we expected it to.

Who does the integration with energy meters / HVAC controllers ? Does Digi do that type of integration or is it some system integrators who are Digi partners who are responsible for integration?
Both options are available, depending on the customer and the goals. In cases where, for example, an OEM wants to add cellular connectivity to their offer, Digi and its partner would work directly with the OEM. In cases where the customer is an end user, for example an city or state department, Digi would work with a system integrator or value added reseller to deliver the final solution.

Can you please share how the Garbage Collection and Emailing System was implemented?
This was done by Digi’s Wireless Design Services group. More details and a video can be found here.

Does the WR31 product have the relevant Australian compliance e.g. C-Tick, A-Tick?
Yes.

Are there plans to support LTE 700 Mhz Band 28 in future?
Yes—stay tuned for details.

Rather than offer a device management application for us to use, does Digi offer a managed service for its product set?
Digi has implemented bespoke managed services programs for customers, but it is more common for us to partner with 3rd party managed services companies.

Does the WR31 support DNP3/IP?
Yes, the Digi TransPort WR line supports DNP3.

Does the WR31 has an LTE to NextG fallback?
Yes, the WR31 offers LTE with fallback to Telstra’s NextG (i.e. 850 MHz) network.

Do you have an example of an application in France?
We have many, many customer and applications in France—please contact your Digi rep or Digi partner for details.

WR31 is a nice product, but how to beat the competition having this form factor in the market for many years. E.g. Welotec, Moxa, etc.
“How to beat…” questions are a bit tough to answer in the abstract, but you can discuss specifics with your Digi rep or partner. Nor now, let’s focus on positioning the WR31 where it will have clear advantages. The WR31 is the best fit in applications that DO NEED: LTE, strong price/performance (i.e. affordable), Modbus/DNP3 bridging, and advanced security and routing (VPN, authentication, encryption, etc, and DON’T NEED vendor-specific object libraries or Modbus/DNP3 translation.

Is there a version that supports XBee® 868 LP?
No, currently there are no versions of the WR31 with an XBee radio, although that is an interesting concept, and worth discussing further with your Digi rep or partner.

Is it possible for the hardware to move from Cellular communications to a WiFi network and use this to communicate, WiFi becomes available – and if so – what product fits best?
The Digi TransPort WR44 supports Wi-Fi and 4G/4G LTE comms and is used in this kind of least cost routing scenario.

What is different in terms of speed in WR21 and WR31?
The WR21 and WR31 share the same WWAN radio and processor architecture—there is no material performance difference between the two.

Fog Computing in the Internet of Things (IoT)

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The Open Fog Consortium defines Fog Computing this way: “A system-level horizontal architecture that distributes resources and services of computing, storage, control and networking anywhere along the continuum from Cloud to Things.” In his recent Fog Computing report, Aapo Markkanen at Machina Research puts Digi in this category. He says, “Digi is well placed to a make a play in fog computing, given its strong communications portfolio and additional capabilities [such as] Device Cloud and device management.” We couldn’t agree more!

Intelligence on the edge of the network allows our customers to store, shape and translate machine and sensor data to maximize connections from the device to the cloud. Digi Device Cloud enables our customers to bring enterprise routing features to the edge of their networks enhancing security, storage, and redundancy.

The concept of Fog Computing accurately describes the way our customers are managing mission critical applications across multiple wireless protocols making it easier to configure, deploy and manage devices on the edge of their networks.

Click here to learn more about Digi Device Cloud >>

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