An efficient transport system doesn't only rely on clear roads and unobstructed rail and tram routes. Communication lines - such as mobile and broadband networks - also have to be kept free and moving for the whole public transport infrastructure to work safely and without hitch.
This is why the EU-funded MobiCloud project is implementing innovative mobile cloud services for the personnel of the Karlsruhe Public Transport Authority (Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe or VBK) in Germany. VBK is recognised worldwide for its forward-thinking tram-train integrated model, where city trains run as fast trains in the wider region but return to their role as normal trams once they enter the city limits.
By improving coordination between staff using standard smartphones and tablets, the MobiCloud platform is making public transport greener, safer and more efficient. The VBK deployment provides a suite of cloud applications for mobile control centre staff and field staff involved in vehicle operations.
'Efficient and fast information flow is essential for safety and incident management,' explained Dr Walter Casazza, CEO of VBK, at the unveiling of the project on April 9, 2013. 'Not only will passengers benefit from shorter journeys through improved information about traffic disruptions, but vehicle operations teams will also benefit from access to real-time information.'
Other benefits of the MobiCloud project include operational cost savings through efficiency improvements to control centre communications. Repair teams will also be able to pinpoint the cause of disruptions faster through the improved communication system. With these benefits, the project expects to improve overall customer satisfaction.
The project is run by the MobiCloud consortium under the European Commission's ICT Policy Support Programme (PSP) and Competitiveness and Innovation framework Programme (CIP).
The consortium is led by Appear (Sweden) and includes Nettropolis (Germany), EsperantoXL (the Netherlands), Costain (UK) and COMIT Projects (UK). The project's focus is to stimulate the provision of new mobile services in the cloud and to support the emergence of a European ecosystem of mobile cloud application developers.
Nettropolis' Head of Development Holger Kammerer commented: 'Using MobiCloud will enable us to focus on delivering the business logic to meet VBK's goals - to optimize processes and reduce workload for all stakeholders.'
For more information, please visit: www.appearnetworks.com/
Explore further: US reaps $41 bn in wireless spectrum auction (Update)