The TransData s.r.o. company, based in Slovakia, is a system integrator that develops applications and system solutions to support and simplify operations for transport, payment, and identification systems on the Slovak market. These include a broad product portfolio of solutions for identification, attendance and fare collection in municipal transport, education and security applications.
Their flagship product is an Integrated Passenger Ticketing and Information system that meets the demanding needs of passengers and operators in public transport vehicles and depots.
Traditional city transit ticketing systems have many problems. They are difficult to use, typically require riders to carry cash, and use outmoded transfer ticketing methods. These systems can slow the process of getting onto a bus or light rail train, while passengers search for money and enter bills and coins into a machine, leaving other passengers out in heat, cold, or inclement weather. Additionally, as the transit market is highly cost sensitive, the result must be an affordable solution that is available for many years.
Modern systems must meet an enormous range of requirements. The system must be flexible and easy to use, while providing a secure, electronic method of paying for fares and transfers that protects passenger data. It must also perform reliably, sometimes in harsh conditions. City transit vehicles often require 24/7 operation in challenging environments that include extreme heat and cold, as well as vibration. Additionally, as the transit market is high cost-conscious, the result must be a cost-effective solution that is available for many years.
Using the Digi ConnectCore 6 ultra-compact system-on-module (SOM) solution based on the Freescale i.MX6 Cortex-A9 processor family, TransData developed an integrated Passenger Ticketing and Information System, providing a complete range of capabilities, including:
- The ability to conduct fare transactions.
- An electronic card system that simplifies the passenger’s user experience.
- GPS-tracked route guidance.
- Display showing local services on the route, such as shops, restaurants, and points of interest.
- A Wi-Fi access point for passenger use.
- On-vehicle video security camera to provide monitoring in the event of a traffic accident or passenger incident.
- The system can also transmit vehicle health monitoring information to a central depot and receive traffic information to optimize routes and minimize delays.
To provide all of these capabilities, TransData’s ticketing and information system required excellent video performance, Wi-Fi and BlueTooth capability, and connectivity to the vehicle data system and cellular modem – all in a stable package and a very small form factor that could handle rugged conditions and extreme temperatures without relying on forced cooling. Digi’s ConnectCore 6 module supported their range of requirements.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome,” said Stanislav Piecka, TransData CTO. “The ultra-compact ConnectCore 6 SOM enabled our team to build our own carrier board design in the smallest space available, while at the same time including multiple connectivity and video display features along with the industrial robustness required to satisfy the most demanding of transport operator specifications.”
Using the Digi ConnectCore 6 SOM enabled TransData to create a product with high-end features in a very cost-conscious market. The result is a reliable, low maintenance product for a market where there are constant challenges with heat, humidity, vibration and network connectivity. Due to its compact size and wide range of capabilities, the product minimizes space requirements and reduces the number of devices required to perform multiple complex tasks.
“At TransData, we needed to develop a flexible solution that enabled scalability as companies required additional features,” Mr. Piecka said. “The ConnectCore 6 enabled us to design a compact and flexible unit with a replaceable carrier board that is easy to remove for servicing. There is an HD display for passenger and driver, along with multiple inputs for cameras, the vehicle data system, and interfaces for external peripherals such as printer and other items. The 5-year warranty and good technical support provided the peace of mind we needed to go forward.”
There are additional benefits for passengers, operators and depot personnel as well. The passenger cards are a combination ID card and electronic ticket, with built in security to prevent theft. Riders can quickly and easily pre-charge their reusable cards at ticketing points. They also enjoy on-board perks of the system, such as route information and the bus location.
The system allows vehicle operators to make use of GPS guidance from the central depot, if the bus has to reroute. Finally, the system helps to ensure the vehicle is running efficiently.
“Digi has demonstrated the capability of Digi SOM technology, offering a feature-packed robust solution while remaining cost competitive in a price sensitive market and region,” Mr. Piecka said. “We look forward to partnering with Digi on future projects.”