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Smart cities: Why Oslo wants its buses to do far more than just transport people


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Ruter, Oslo’s mass-transit company, plans to kill two birds with one stone.

It is not solely aiming to construct a extra environment friendly and versatile IT system for working its buses, nevertheless it additionally desires to offer the Norwegian capital with knowledge for brand spanking new smart-city functions and companies.

Sensible cities want a number of knowledge for planning, decision-making and new companies. Mass-transit autos are all over the place within the metropolis, so utilizing them to offer real-time knowledge for these functions make apparent sense.

Nevertheless, Oslo’s buses presently have seven separate and proprietary techniques on board, to help reside knowledge for a number of capabilities, together with ticketing, passenger info, place reporting to the management middle, and offering technical upkeep knowledge to the bus operators.

These techniques do not interoperate and, in some cases, they even want separate radio communications for his or her respective makes use of.

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Ruter has been engaged in worldwide standardization work via public transportation tech association ITxPT to deal with the seller lock-in it has been experiencing.

The purpose is for tomorrow’s buses to hold an open and standards-based IT platform with interfaces and protocols that every one distributors should help.

The consequence might be a better systems-integration atmosphere, the place subsystems will be capable of share sources equivalent to GPS and radio communications, in addition to their knowledge the place relevant.

The instant operational upside for Ruter is simpler knowledge administration and far shorter time to implement new capabilities and companies. Within the course of, extra knowledge might be made accessible to Ruter, the town, and to third-party builders.

“Because of this from having closed, vendor-dependent techniques the place the info’s stored internally, all the info from all the transport fleet will get out into the general public area. All environmental sensors on board the bus, like visitors pace, mild, noise, air pollution et cetera, will in precept be publicly accessible,” Ruter CEO Bernt Reitan Jenssen advised ZDNet.

“So as a substitute of 5 distributors offering seven techniques, this can flip right into a incredible platform the place new companies might be created. Not just for our wants tied to the buses themselves, but in addition for a lot of different wants that are not associated to mass transit in any respect,” he added.

See: What is Hyperloop? Everything you need to know about the future of transport

Ruter is in a aggressive tendering course of for bus companies in an Oslo municipality the place this know-how is central Ito the agency’s bid. It’s presently testing the platform on 400 buses that stream knowledge repeatedly to its knowledge middle.

“That is truly one of many world’s first large-scale tenders primarily based on this know-how. For us that is true smart-city know-how, as a result of it offers us platforms to develop options that stretch far past our personal sector,” Jenssen mentioned.

“We’re speaking a few new triangulation, with prospects, distributors and different customers — easy methods to create a brand new coexistence primarily based on knowledge sharing. That is what we name ‘bus as a service’.”

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Ruter CEO Bernt Reitan Jenssen: “That is true smart-city know-how, as a result of it offers us platforms to develop options that stretch far past our personal sector.”


Picture: Stig Oyvann/ZDNet

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