FourC AS makes waves in public transport nationally and internationally
Public transport and ITS in general have been put high on the political agenda by governments and politicians. In the public transport area, FourC is providing disruptive technologies that are challenging the business models of the established players. This is all in line with the long term political plans of the transport ministries to improve the environment and reduce car traffic by taking ITS more actively into use.
In a short time, FourC AS has gained quite some attention by being included in “one to watch” lists and have also managed to fully fund a €4M, three year long R&D project involving four PTAs covering more than one fifth of the country’s total population.
The project is described on it's own project home page: www.opensp.eu
Open-ness in the vehicle too!
The project is named OpenSP, short for “Open Service Platform for Public Transport”. The main idea is to take the “as-a-service” concept and economy to public transport by using modern Internet of Things technologies to provide in-vehicle solutions “as a service”, fully managed from the cloud. Traditional in-vehicle systems have huge long-term lock-in effects to the original supplier, which means that cost for such systems will be extremely high in the long run.
By changing the mindset of PTAs and PTOs to accept a more service-oriented approach, it is envisaged that costs for IT solutions for public transport can be dramatically reduced. Other effects are that new players can enter the market more easily, and that having an open service platform available will drive innovation and create real competition since installing new services can be done with the “click of a button”.
Moving Norway to an Open Ticketing Solution
The project will demonstrate at least two services on the open platform. The first is an ID- and account-based ticketing service that can use contact or contactless payment cards as IDs or means of payment. For this part, FourC has teamed with partners Valyou and Bambora. Valyou is owned by Telenor and the majority of Norwegian banks, and provides the standard Norwegian NFC wallet app which will now be updated to include ticketing functionality. Bambora was chosen as the PSP on the backend side due to their modern and flexible open APIs which are needed to provide the full range of transport-related backend payment services.
NFC is a key element, but as put by one of the PTAs involved in the project, conceptually any identifier should be supported, even down to “good old Olga’s wooden stick” that she always carries! This means that e.g. QR codes, identity cards or biometrics could be used.
Revolutionising Passenger Counting
The second service to be demonstrated is a revolutionary, patent pending passenger counting solution that will more than halve the extensive costs of traditional passenger counting systems based on specialized software and hardware using I/R beams or cameras.
FourC’s service will instead run on standard in-vehicle computers with sensors to detect passengers. Not only able to count passengers, the service offers the additional value of tracking individual passengers anonymously throughout the full transport system. The backend part includes various functions to analyse the flow with the use of e.g. interactive maps.
More Service Partners Wanted!
The marked for further services to PTAs and bus companies are growing. FourC is seeking more partners to extend the service portfolio. Due to the ease of integration using a “no API” approach, several 3rd party suppliers are showing great interest in providing their services on-board. In fact, just two months after releasing information about the project, the first contract with a third party supplier was signed.
Contact us if you are interested in providing your in-vehicle services to PTAs or bus companies.
What next ?
Read about the FourC's Cities in Motion service range for ITS and Public Transport
Read about the first pilot projects on www.opensp.eu