Open Systems: the present and future of public transport

Open systems

For over 20 years now Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSs) have been making increasing inroads into our daily lives, helping transport operators and government authorities to provide a top-quality, quick, safe and cost-effective service.

The germinal ITS ideas came from operators, authorities and companies like GMV with the aim of improving public and private freight transport, as well as other systems designed to streamline traffic in all means of transport.

It soon became clear that the rapid takeup of ITSs gave rise to a host of closed systems that did not improve citizen mobility when it came to providing multimodal information or using common fare-payment methods. This prompted diverse national and international authorities to work towards the creation of standards to bring in open systems.

One of the first governments was the British, setting up the TransXChange standard for the interchange of bus route and timetable information. CEN, Europe’s Committee for Standardization, then created Transmodel, the Reference Data Model for Public Transport, which is used for topologies, timetables and in the exchange of vehicle-tracking, ETA and ticketing information, etc.

GMV is the first Spanish firm to join the ITxPT initiative, brokered by the UITP, the International Association of Public Transport. The aim of ITxPT is to encourage cooperation in implementation of a plug-and-play working standard for public-transport technology systems. An integrated testing environment offers services for specifying, testing, qualifying and showcasing technological solutions. This initiative includes all the main carmakers, transport operators and ITS stakeholders. ITxPT’s particular remit is to support the rollout of standards and practices for onboard systems of public transport and the matching features on the control-center side. It is now leading a joint effort to encourage, support, and promote development of the EN13149 standard (parts 7/8/9).

Open ITS systems will create countless advantages and benefits:

  • The created systems will be interoperable, where various technologies and providers can cooperate to ensure a uniform system
  • Mobility information across the various means of transports will be facilitated
  • Fare-charging and -payment methods in metropolitan areas involving different means of transport will be simpler
  • The exchange of information with other systems like traffic-control centers, weather-forecasting services, emergency services, etc, will all be easier too.
  • Setting up Smart Cities will be more straightforward.

Open systems form part of today’s ITSs and are also the path towards the future.

Author: Isidro Prieto

Las opiniones vertidas por el autor son enteramente suyas y no siempre representan la opinión de GMV
The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of GMV
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