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Driving Intelligent Transportation Systems: Improving Bus Operations with IoT Analytics

Driving Intelligent Transportation Systems Improving Bus Operations With IoT Analytics

Technology advancements are constantly improving the ways and means of transportation be it air or water and land. Yet another leap forward – the dawn of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has heralded the arrival of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), with punctuality, safety and sustainability as the hallmarks of the transport services.

Markedly, public bus transport is the primary means of travel for most people in India. These buses serve millions of commuters every day and are indeed their lifeline.

The use of digital technology to develop ‘smart’ solutions such as real-time passenger information systems, smart cards and integrated ticketing, smart parking management and alike can vastly improve the commuting experience and enhance passengers’ satisfaction.

To usher an era of smart transportation in India, the Government of India is keen on digitally transforming public modes of transport, especially in burgeoning cities, and to boost its adoption among citizens. Accordingly, the public bus transport, too, is expected to receive a major revamp.

As a partner to the government in this endeavour, Hitachi is leveraging more than 100 years of expertise in Operational Technologies (OT) and 50+ years in Information Technologies (IT) to accelerate the digitalization of transportation systems and introduce intelligent, passenger-friendly services.

By introducing technology and social innovation in the mobility sector, Hitachi India Pvt. Ltd. Research & Development Centre has innovated a smart solution to optimize bus operations and solve congestion both on roads and in buses to ease the daily commutes of the passenger and improve their Quality of Life.

Enhancing Quality of Life with Technology

Enhancing Quality of Life with Technology

Security: CCTV Surveillance
  • Entrance-Exit surveillance
  • Parking surveillance
  • Traffic violation/accident surveillance
  • Suspicious person/object detection
  • Fire, smoke detection
Passenger Experience
  • Monitoring shuttle bus operation status
  • In-bus status monitoring
  • Less in-bus congestion
  • Route search via mobile app
  • e-payment by smart card
  • Less travel time with optimized route
Urban Planning
  • Traffic & operation optimization
  • Updating road inventory
  • Shortest time route for emergency vehicles
  • Planned urban development
  • Entrance-Exit surveillance
  • Parking surveillance
  • Traffic violation/accident surveillance
  • Suspicious person/object detection
  • Fire, smoke detection
  • Monitoring shuttle bus operation status
  • In-bus status monitoring
  • Less in-bus congestion
  • Route search via mobile app
  • e-payment by smart card
  • Less travel time with optimized route
  • Traffic & operation optimization
  • Updating road inventory
  • Shortest time route for emergency vehicles
  • Planned urban development

Strengthening Bus Transportation Systems

Low cost, ease of access, and high flexibility are the key reasons that make buses the most popular and convenient form of public transport for urban and regional commuting in India. Issues like long wait times, long route travel times, and overcrowding in buses, however, are driving the shift towards personal vehicles.

This engorgement of private transport is not only putting an added pressure on cities’ already distressed roads but is causing further environmental damage. Posing an immediate threat to people’s health, deteriorating air quality, increasing carbon emissions are raising concerns over the sustainability of cities and urban centres in the long term.

Through its Smart Cities Mission, the government is emphasizing on developing smart transport systems. However, optimisation of bus operations become a key challenge since each bus route operation is on a part of a major corridor and optimizing operations in a corridor is complex.

Showing the way forward, Hitachi India Pvt. Ltd. Research & Development Centre has leveraged its core technology and expertise to provide intelligent transport solutions in traffic prediction, in-bus crowd estimation, video classification of vehicle type, and analysis by acceleration sensors.

Strengthening bus transport systems, Hitachi has developed an advanced digital solution that combines information on traffic congestion, people mobility, bus location and in-bus crowd status in real time, thereby allowing intuitive visualization of bus operations & management from the control centre through IoT analytics. This data is aggregated from heterogeneous sources such as in-vehicle video, roadside camera, Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS), road quality information, GPS, and trip schedules.

Based on a comprehensive analysis of this data, comprising in-bus crowd analysis, person trip analysis, bus operation analysis, and after modelling and simulation of route networks, Hitachi’s bus schedule simulator generates optimal bus schedules, routes, and timetables, and evaluates results on Key Performance Indicators (KPI) before deployment in real settings to ensure the highest success rate & benefits to bus operators and passengers alike.

Hitachi's Public Transport Optimization Solution

Hitachi's Public Transport Optimization Solution

Real-time Data Collection
  • GPS Devices
  • In-vehicle Video
  • Roadside Cameras
  • Smartphone App
  • Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS)
Analysis & Visualization
  • Bus Operations Analysis
  • Citizens' Origin-Destination Patterns
  • Crowd Analysis
  • Passenger Count Measurement
Bus Scheduling
  • Frequency Setting
  • Timetable Development

By matching demand and supply, the solution resolves the issue of low occupancy in buses thereby helping bus operators reduce losses and capitalize on missed opportunities in areas of high demand for increased revenue.

Leveraging Video Analytics for Traffic Control

Besides improving the performance of bus operations, Hitachi is utilizing its powerful video analytics technology for ensuring smooth traffic flows in the city. The traffic prediction technology, for instance, allows visualization of traffic on multiple routes, helping calculate the travel time on each route, thus empowering the citizen to plan their journeys and save time.

Further, Hitachi’s video analytics technology uses stereo camera and Artificial Intelligence to measure traffic count, identify as many as six types of vehicles and capture traffic control information using just one video camera, delivering operational intelligence to city authorities.

Through statistical analysis of data collected from roadside cameras and Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Hitachi is also helping urban planners understand the most common reasons for accidents and devise ways to prevent the same. Enhancing public safety, Hitachi’s vehicle weight estimation technology can identify overloaded vehicles with smartphone sensors, alerting authorities to take swift action.

Video Analytics for Traffic Control

Video Analytics for Traffic Control

Data Collection & Analysis
  • Traffic volume
  • Traffic violation
  • Traffic accident
  • Road surface damage detection
Video Analytics for Traffic Control Solution
  • Efficient traffic regulation
  • Real-time caution alerts
  • Analysis of high-accident areas
  • Traffic simulation

Empowering Citizens with Improved Services

Digitalization of bus transport ensures the shortest travel routes, least waiting time, and less in-bus congestion for the passenger, thus empowering millions to travel comfortably. This will also help in alleviating road congestion, reduce travel time, ensuring a better commuters’ experience.

In future, Hitachi plans to extend the present work to support feeder services to bus and metro operations for intermodal integration and development of Mobility as a Service (MaaS). Powering Good, Hitachi Social Innovation through its new-age public transport solutions is augmenting the adoption of public transport in India. Committed to enhancing Social, Environmental, and Economic values, Hitachi is working non-stop to develop sustainable cities and habitats for the generations to come.