Staying Connected on the Go: Enhancing Public Transit
Public transport provides a safe and affordable way for people to travel, and is an integral part of daily life for many. Yet, automobiles still remain public transport’s greatest competition due to their accessibility, convenience and comfort. Aware of this fact, many transport companies and authorities are taking steps to improve customer experience. This includes more convenient payment options, up-to date schedule and arrival information and optimizing routes.
Established in Slovakia in 1990, EMTEST provides integrated solutions for public transportation, freight transportation, smartcards systems and electronic equipment production. EMTEST’s Emlines system offers a comprehensive solution to a range of public transport systems, including fare collection, passenger information and fleet control.
The Emlines fare collection system is one of the most important links between a passenger and the transport company. At the heart of the system is a state-of-the art on-board unit that serves as the main control for an entire vehicle system.
“The on-board unit provides a connected and controlled ticketing system for ticket sales and ticket control,” said Heglas. “But it also provides crucial information for passengers. It communicates the name of the next stop, arrival time and information to transfer to other lines. It’s also very important for fleet control. For example, in monitoring traffic and deciding which bus should go on which line, how much fuel would be consumed and who should drive the bus.”
The Emlines system is an open solution based on contactless smart cards for all types of public transport with various passenger flows. The system communicates in real-time with other vehicle systems as well as dispatchers and central hubs. This creates the ability to provide customers with accurate travel information and provides the transport company with better fleet control. These capabilities also mean that reliable Internet connectivity becomes a mission-critical requirement. EMTEST uses Digi’s ConnectCore® 6 as the technological platform for its innovative on-board unit. The ConnectCore 6 module makes it easy for manufacturers to develop Wi-Fi-enabled products. It also offers secure remote management and Web services capabilities through the cloud.
“We wanted to create a new user interface for the driver to provide even greater control of the whole vehicle system,” said Ladislav Heglas, chairman of the board for EMTEST. “Our goal was to create a next-generation on-board system with superior speed, interfaces, and functionality. Digi provided a great solution to help us do so.”
“Digi has provided a good technological platform for our new on-board unit, EMX27, which is set to be available to the market in the first quarter of 2015,” Heglas said.
“Digi has a longstanding track record in delivering embedded core modules based on Freescale i.MX processors for the transport sector,” said Mike Rohrmoser, senior product manager for embedded solutions at Digi International. “The module is an ideal solution for developers of transport solutions, offering one of the smallest form factors on the market. It requires no connectors for assembly. It was created to reduce design risk, complexity and time to market for those developing M2M solutions.”
Public transportation’s ability to deliver an enhanced experience for consumers will keep it competitive and a preferred option for many commuters and travelers.