Mo­bitec sys­tems


Since be­ing im­ple­mented in Novem­ber 2017, the Mo­bitec/Con­sat MX4 com­puter sys­tem on Syd­ney’s North­ern Beaches strik­ingly bright-yel­low MAN dou­bledeck B-line bus sys­tem ar­guably show­cases the world-lead­ing pas­sen­ger in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy to the do­mes­tic mar­ket, says man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Bob Bar­wick.

Mo­bitec suc­cess­fully se­cured a con­tracted Ser­vice Level Agree­ment (SLA) with Trans­port for NSW to im­ple­ment and man­age its pas­sen­ger in­for­ma­tion sys­tem on this route.

“The sys­tem has op­er­ated without a hitch for the past six months, on both the buses and the bus stops. The MX4 com­puter tech­nol­ogy is state-of-the-art and is un­der­pinned by this solid per­for­mance. As well as im­ple­ment­ing the on-board and off-board sys­tems, we provided Trans­port for NSW the back-of­fice sys­tem to man­age and mon­i­tor buses and bus stops. We also in­te­grated into their real-time open data hub. The sys­tem pro­vides them re­ports on any­thing they want; for ex­am­ple, they can ac­tu­ally see what the bus stops were dis­play­ing at a par­tic­u­lar time or when a bus pulled up.”

With a 30-year re­la­tion­ship be­tween Mo­bitec and Con­stat, they are con­fi­dent this suc­cess will pave the way for a lot more busi­ness in the fu­ture.

“Trans­port for NSW will soon be in­tro­duc­ing ‘Head­way’ in the next phase of the B-Line and the sys­tem we have just im­ple­mented has this ca­pa­bil­ity al­ready built-in. As the driver is an in­te­gral part of the pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence, they can take ad­van­tage of this tech­nol­ogy to plan in real-time. This in­for­ma­tion can also be used by the cen­tral con­trol room, and even dis­played in real-time to the pas­sen­gers on the bus or at the next bus stop.

“The sys­tem also has a tool for driver be­hav­iour. Un­like other sys­tems which are hy­brid and only give a ba­sic so­lu­tion, Mo­bitec/Con­stat con­sider the bus chas­sis and spe­cific route in­for­ma­tion to give a more re­al­is­tic ex­pe­ri­ence. De­ter­min­ing the dif­fer­ence be­tween chas­sis on fuel con­sump­tion is valu­able for the busi­ness, while real-time push no­ti­fi­ca­tions are im­por­tant to in­form pas­sen­gers of events such as Ser­vice Dis­rup­tions.

“Other re­quire­ments by Trans­port for NSW in­cluded static LED dis­plays for pas­sen­gers who are vi­sion-im­paired.

“One of our IT spe­cial­ists, Kurt Hen­nessy, is him­self vi­sion-im­paired and his in­put into this area of de­vel­op­ment has been para­mount to its suc­cess.

“In­stalling static LEDs elim­i­nates the com­mon flick­er­ing that oc­curs with a tra­di­tional mul­ti­plex sign. These small flick­ers are most of­ten not seen by any­one ex­cept those who are vi­sion-im­paired, mak­ing it hard for them to read im­por­tant route in­for­ma­tion. The in­clu­sion of the static LED signs has been a real game-changer for this group of com­muters.

“Plus, we’ve added the text-to-speech but­tons at the B-Line stops, which re­peats what’s on the PID sign in a digi­tised voice; it can also be con­fig­ured to use a voice ac­tor if de­sired.”


Mo­bitec’s ex­per­tise spans the en­tire trans­port sys­tem from bus-stops, driver and route in­for­ma­tion, all the way to depot and busi­ness re­port­ing sys­tems, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

“We’re re­ally proud of our 55-inch screens that func­tion like a help cen­tre for pas­sen­gers”, said Bar­wick. “Hav­ing real-time push no­ti­fi­ca­tions dis­played gives pas­sen­gers the ul­ti­mate con­fi­dence in the trans­port sys­tem.”

“Another in­no­va­tion is our so­lar-pow­ered timetable screens that can go any­where. These are pop­u­lar in Ger­many, where their use has im­proved their pas­sen­gers’ ex­pe­ri­ence and the in­te­gra­tion with the back of­fice has provided valu­able in­for­ma­tion to show where timetable ef­fi­cien­cies can be im­proved.

“Cou­ple this with re­port­ing on driver per­for­mance and fuel con­sump­tion and it’s no won­der our sys­tem is at­tract­ing so much in­ter­est.”

Driv­ers them­selves are also well-catered for with one point of log-in and hands-free com­mu­ni­ca­tion. This text-to-speech tech­nol­ogy is a safety fea­ture that elim­i­nates the need for a hand­held ra­dio unit and there is a ticket ma­chine process al­ready in de­vel­op­ment for re­lease in the near fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to Mo­bitec.

The com­pany has some very smart prod­ucts that have el­e­vated lev­els of ad­justa­bil­ity and func­tion­al­ity.

“The MX4 sys­tem is ahead of its time,” said Bar­wick. “This sys­tem is help­ing to fu­ture-proof Trans­port for NSW and set­ting the stan­dard for the rest of the Aus­tralian states.

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