The MAVIS system notifies the bus driver when approaching a bus stop, in case users with special needs are going to board or exit alight the bus.
Karlsruhe, 18 September 2019
Highly industrialized and innovative at the same time - this is Singapore, this year’s setting of the ITS World Congress, taking place 21 - 25 October 2019. With a daily ridership of 7.54 million in 2018, public transport plays an essential role in the city’s infrastructure. Intelligent approaches are in demand – just like INIT’s solutions concerning mobility platforms, smart ticketing or automatic passenger counting as well as deployment and management of electric vehicles, all showcased at the Singapore Pavilion (booth 335).
How innovative public transport really is can also be seen in the way it responds to the requirements of people with special mobility needs. And here, too, Singapore is one step ahead. In a trial project exclusive to Singapore named MAVIS (an acronyme for „Mobility Assistance for Visually Impaired and Selected Users”) visually, hearing and mobility impaired riders can plan their bus trips independently in a barrier-free smartphone app developed by INIT in cooperation with the Land Transit Authority Singapore. This is possible on a specific bus line in a number of regular buses which have the trial system installed.
Users of the app adjust their settings according to their kind of disability. The functions are then exactly adapted to their type of restriction. For example, passengers with impaired vision receive acoustic signals for the planned and current journey, whereas travelers in wheelchairs are informed whether there is enough space for them on the next bus. Registered passengers are shown the journey of the desired bus, i. e. they can see in real time when their bus will come. They can also conveniently view the real-time position of the bus.
The MAVIS project attracted attention far beyond Singapore’s borders: INIT and LTA received both the UITP Award in the category "Diversity & Inclusion" and the UITP Asia Pacific Special Recognition Award at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm. INIT CSO, Dr. Jürgen Greschner, takes pride in the successful project: “With the MAVIS project and the subsequent launch of the ASSISTIVEtravel app, we facilitate access to public transport for mobility impaired people. We hope that with ASSISTIVEtravel we will be able to make mobility easier for many people worldwide".
Open Mobility Platforms
Mobility demands are changing – passengers increasingly expect services to be offered according to their individual needs. At the same time, new mobility service providers are emerging, offering for example ride-hailing or ride-pooling services. Public transport providers know the mobility needs of their region best, and should seize the opportunity to become the mobility broker of their region, combining new and even competing services into one Open Mobility Platform. By orchestrating all mobility providers they can ensure the role of public transport as the strong backbone of urban mobility. How such an Open Mobility Platform for a whole region will look, is demonstrated by INIT and its partners with the flagship project regiomove in Karlsruhe / Germany, recently nominated for one of the special prizes of the German Sustainability Award. The project allows for seamless intermodal travel chains via a booking and payment platform developed by INIT. The platform provides a single-sign-on service for payment, so that passengers must specify their payment method and details only once. Transport companies which use an operations control & RTPI or an account-based ticketing system from INIT already have a solid basis for upgrading to a mobility platform.
Contactless payment options
Open Mobility Platforms will contribute to the goal of reducing individual car traffic, so will smart ticketing solutions by easing the access to public transport. In Singapore, INIT will showcase successful smart ticketing projects. Riders in the greater Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area (USA) can choose from a whole range of different payment options. Besides paper tickets they can pay for fares contactless using a credit or debit card, a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, a virtual smart card within Google or Apple Pay or a physical smart card. They simply tap their card or phone on any of the 1,200 INIT validators and hop on board. Everything else, including fare capping on a daily or monthly basis, is happening in the INIT back-office system, MOBILEvario. Birmingham-based National Express West Midlands (NXWM, United Kingdom) also chose MOBILEvario as back-office system for their INIT smart ticketing system enabling contactless payments by bank and credit cards. This required an in depth EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) accreditation to achieve full compliance with VISA and Mastercard’s latest transport implementation guidelines. The EMV Level 2 accreditation for this project was the first in the UK.
Crowd management with MOBILE-APC
With a steadily increasing number of citizens in all big cities, crowd management is getting more and more important for public transport - not only to improve service quality, but also to enhance efficiency. As a result, Automatic Passenger Counting (APC) technology goes far beyond planning processes and statistical analysis: A better distribution of the passengers within crowded trains must be a major goal. With MOBILE-APC, the accurate information on the actual passenger load of each train car is transferred in real time to the next stations’ platform doors to indicate where there will be space. Passengers can be informed through other means as well, for example through apps.
But the accuracy of INIT’s APC solution goes even one step further. It takes into account what INIT calls the Estimated Car Load (ECL): Immediately after the train doors close, the system calculates the percentage probability of passengers who are supposed to alight at the following station based on historical data (same time and day type). This percentage will be deducted from the actual carload and sent immediately to the aforementioned subsequent information systems. This way the passengers will not be informed about the load of the train when it’s arriving, but about the situation after the passengers have alighted and the new passengers are able to board. With this new method, already patented in the US, INIT provides exact information that significantly improves passengers’ travel experience, but also reduces dwell times und minimizes safety hazards.
One solution to cover all e-mobility processes
Another trend in public transport is the rising importance of electro-mobility. As a pioneer and only supplier on the market, INIT offers a comprehensive solution that integrates all operational processes for the deployment of electric buses. From route planning and dispatching to range prediction, to management and monitoring of the charging processes to analyses and reports – based on current and historical data INIT’s system provides reliable information needed in order to run even a large fleet of electric buses. The Intermodal Transport Control System, MOBILE-ITCS, allows dispatchers to monitor the state of charge of electric vehicles and receive warnings when the charging level has become critical. The driver receives real-time feedback as well which will help him develop an energy-saving driving style.
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