The technical solution is built on an internal network onboard the vehicle, connecting all systems through standard network cables, to a vehicle gateway. The gateway and the ITxPT compliant software of the vehicle connection platform, solve communication issues, share information between the systems and connect the vehicle network to the cloud. The cloud enables access to the information from anywhere with a secure login, through easy-to-use environments on computers as well as tablets and phones. Investing in an open standard internal network reduces communication and maintenance costs significantly as well as investment costs for all future onboard systems.
On-board systems can take advantage of the information from the vehicle chassis level signaling, independent of manufacturer, by connecting the Bus-FMS to the gateway which has an FMS-to-IP service that is distributing the information over the network. There are several services which can be shared between all onboard systems, such as GPS, communication, surveillance, monitoring, vehicle id, power management and others, including proprietary and legacy systems.
Mass production cost benefits
An important benefit from implementing an open standard IT solution is that it is compatible with consumer electronics and solutions from the auto industry which liberates you from expensive vendor dependent solutions. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you can take advantage of the cost benefits of mass production. The open, standardized solution also opens up the vendor market for smaller vendors, which significantly increases competition and speeds up innovation and development.
Two groups of applications
The Ecosystem of applications from many different suppliers, all adapted to the Information Technology for Public Transport (ITxPT) standard is rapidly growing. In this context, there are two main groups of applications. ITxPT-standardized applications and the proprietary solutions.
The first group, standardized applications, come from suppliers who adhere to the standards of the ITxPT organization, and they all work together in a plug-and-play manner. They include such applications as: Fuel Economy, Navigation, Fault Report, Alcolock Integration, Tachograph download, Bus Heater and Assault Alarm, Inventory Database, Vehicle Database, AVMS, Passenger Information and more.
The second group, proprietary applications, are non-standardized but there are solutions to integrate both new and legacy proprietary applications, so you don’t have to remain stuck in an old silo IT structure. A few examples of systems where integration solutions are already developed, are Nilex, Frida and BUMS for databases, Mobitec and MultiQ for signs, VIX / ERG, Point and Modulsystem for Ticketing, Consat and Hogia for Realtime systems, Dräger, Alcolock and ACS for alcolock, Stoneridge and VDO for Tachograph, TBO, Verint, BraVision and AD Holding for video, TBD, Thoreb, Iris, Dilax and Hella for passenger counting, multiple Android applications and all major bus manufacturers.
Silo solution approaching end station
The days of selling silo solutions to public transport vehicles are quickly approaching the end station, due to the inherent inflexibility of such systems. The ever-accelerating pace of IT development, calls for an environment that is constantly upgraded, has low cost for new investments and will incorporate solutions from many different suppliers of both hardware and software. Therefore silo solutions have become dinosaurs.
There are simply too many advantages in taking control over the onboard vehicle IT system for the silo solution paradigm to survive. A joint platform for managing vehicle systems, both new and legacy, an application ecosystem and user friendly Cloud based Fleet management applications is the road forward from here.
Resources and References
Disclaimer: The content of this blog post is the author’s opinion and doesn’t reflect the opinion of any other person or organisation.