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The Internet of Things: a roundtable discussion

By November 7, 2019Product News

We asked industry experts Carol Schweiger, President of Schweiger Consulting, François Fischer, Senior Manager Innovation and Deployment, ERTICO and Craig Fleming, Senior Business Development Manager, CENSIS, for their thoughts on the Internet of Things (IoT) and its applications within transport. Here’s what they had to say.

What would you say are the most important applications of IoT to transport?

Schweiger: The most beneficial applications of IoT are those which use specific IoT devices to facilitate the integration of on-board public transport technologies, and those that provide access to the cloud for data management and analytics. The use of these devices will then enable improved mobility through systems that rely on the real-time enterprise data, such as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). Firstly, on-board mobile routers/wireless gateways allow the integration of on-board technology, such as automatic vehicle location (AVL), computer-aided dispatch (CAD), automatic passenger counting (APC), on-board surveillance, on-board component health (e.g. engine, transmission), driver performance (e.g. G-force monitoring), intelligent vehicle technologies (collision warning and precision docking), transit signal priority (TSP) and automated fare payment.

Secondly, these devices provide communication between the vehicle and central dispatch or data centre and can provide Wi-Fi for passengers. Furthermore, the use of mobile routers/wireless gateways can determine and select the best available wireless network through roaming across a variety of networks and can access more than one network by accommodating more than one subscriber identity module (SIM) card from other communication devices (e.g. Bluetooth, radio).

Finally, IoT allows the use of cloud platforms and web services that provide remote access to, for example, data and analytics, and provide other functions, such as on-board application upgrades and payment transactions.

Fischer: Two types of applications of IoT technologies are going to be relevant for the transport sector. At the vehicle level, the most important application is about autonomous driving and in the future, driverless vehicles. Current partially autonomous vehicles are using their internal sensors to detect obstacles and to maintain their local dynamic map which models the vehicle driving environment. But much additional useful information about the vehicle driving environment can be dynamically collected from other sensors outside the vehicle such as other vehicles, pedestrians, cameras, road sensors and parking sensors. IoT platforms are addressing the needs to collect data from different heterogenic sensors; most of them located outside of the vehicle, as well as managing the data to provide the vehicle Autonomous Driving application with real time useful information about the diving environment.

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