The term mobility as a service (MaaS) has been the hot issue these days, and the reasons behind are 5G networks, V2X communications and mobile edge-cloud computing. Once intelligent Maas is realized, public transit vehicles like city buses will be able to collect and make sense of massive amounts of data from a huge array of sources, and there will be tremendous volume of data exchange on a daily basis. They may even communicate with sensors in response to signs like stoplights, bus stops, and even ones embedded in the roads to get traffic updates and rerouting alerts. In essence, they will act as a digital assistant to communicate with your device and gather information you need to go about your day.

Since public transportation vehicles generate huge volumes of data from their subsystems, it will make them intelligent by deploying robust platforms in moving vehicles that enable computing and connectivity on the go and connect to 5G infrastructures to process and transfer data back to cloud with low latency. In fact, intelligent vehicles today are already packed with impressive processing power and sophisticated connectivity provided by embedded Intel® x86 platforms; therefore, the network traffic from edge to the cloud will get busier and more congested. This is the reason why 5G infrastructure will realize Maas by promising enhanced mobile bandwidth, massive IoT connectivity and mission-critical reliability.

Copyright – Ministry of Transport and Communication, Finland

To realize mobility as a service, the cloud will function as the central processing and sophisticated analytical core, where information will be provisioned. In practice, the cloud is the back-end for developing the Apps and application programs for public transit vehicles on the road.

How will that change the way we go about our days? When you’re getting ready to go out in the morning, tapping into your Apps, your smartphone will display a list of preferred commuting options based on experience. In other words, whatever public transit you have taken, like metro, bus or taxi, and any place you have visited repeatedly by public transit, will be treated as data collection and therefore your use experience will be analyzed. For instance, the App may advise a bus stop where the bus you have frequently taken will arrive in 3 minutes, or suggest an alternative commuting option as the metro is delayed for some reason.

The ideal of connected public transport vehicles will help cities and states cut down on congestion with enhanced passenger safety. On the road, intelligent buses will communicate to one another, automatically exchanging data such as speed, position, and direction, or even alerts if a crash seems imminent. So far, the path to vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V communication, is underway, as the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it has paved the groundwork to enable V2V communication.

Meanwhile, local governments have mapped out ways to deploy connected public transit vehicles in the traffic management systems. For example, IBM has conducted a smarter traffic pilot with the Dutch city of Eindhoven. In this project, traffic monitoring systems were implemented to collect data about traffic volumes and forecasting so that drivers can plan ahead to go about their ways.

The initiatives of connected public transportation vehicles could become a reality if further steps are taken properly. And, it is clear that the auto industry will go through a massive change driven by the cloud, and they must come out with new auto concepts for cars to work with the cloud.

At Intertaffic 2018, Lanner will showcase our rugged hardware solutions designed to enable the connectivity and immobility in next -gen inter-connected transportation systems with mission critical applications such as real-time mobile surveillance, vehicle control and monitoring, V2X communications and next-gen mobility services. From Mar. 20 to Mar. 23, come visit our booth at 11.106 at Intertraffic 2018 .