Preventing overcrowding, creating trust, monitoring mask wearing

Overcrowding needs to be prevented in all public areas. That is why, despite falling passenger numbers, many transport authorities are maintaining all of their services. “We need to make sure that our passengers feel they are safe when they get on board our buses and trains, even during the pandemic”, says Prof. Knut Ringat, CEO of Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV). Being able to predict passenger levels and prevent overcrowding is particularly important for regional transport. This is because, unlike long-distance transport, it cannot rely on reservation data. HaCon joined forces with Siemens Mobility to develop a software solution that predicts capacity utilisation. It is based on the amount of queries and bookings made on local transport company apps. The data is used on a completely anonymous basis and cannot be traced back to the individual user. In addition, the self-learning algorithm takes plannable external influences like construction work and major events into account.

Smartphone IT solution

Camera-based technology and booking systems can help both manage passenger flows and make sure they are wearing masks, so that everyone feels safe while travelling. Many of the exhibitors at IT-TRANS provide just these solutions. Awaait has developed a fare evasion detector that detects people travelling without tickets at barriers. The system provides the data in real time using video streams from cameras monitoring the barriers. The Spanish AI specialists have also developed face mask monitoring software that uses the same IP/network cameras to check whether passengers are wearing face coverings. Both systems send alerts to inspectors via an app, so that they can catch passengers travelling without a ticket or mask in seconds. Isarsoft offers a video-based passenger counting system for use in vehicles, on platforms and at entrances. It can be used to determine long-term trends and local maximum passenger levels. Mentz has developed an occupancy display that draws data from one of two sources. The first is dynamic real-time data fed into apps or passenger information platforms via the conventional SIRI standard. Alternatively, the system can use community-supported data. Moovit has developed another tool that supports social distancing at stations and stops. It uses push notifications and in-app pop-up windows to inform passengers about real-time delays, cancellations and changes, so that they can avoid spending long periods in busy areas.

MOBILEguide is a passenger flow system developed by INIT. The system uses a series of levels with which transport companies can control vehicle utilisation. In its final expansion stage, MOBILEguide takes into account typical embarking and disembarking behaviour at individual stops. It calculates a capacity prediction in the form of the expected occupancy level after disembarkation. This calculation is made based on real-time counting data, historical data and a self-learning algorithm (AI). Once the occupancy level in a vehicle exceeds a certain threshold, the MOBILE-ITCS intermodal transport control system alerts the control room. This allows for remedial measures, such as scheduling additional vehicles or temporarily preventing passengers from boarding.

Please note: The IT-TRANS exhibition 2020 will not take place as a live event in Karlsruhe. UITP and Messe Karlsruhe are transforming IT-TRANS to an interactive event community platform, where exhibitors will also be present.