The vision: The ITxPT standard is to public transport what USB, Bluetooth or even Android are to consumer electronics: Plug & Play – connect and go. Thanks to open IT architecture and interoperability between IT systems based on standardization, IT components in buses and streetcars are compatible with all systems and thus ready for immediate use.
The topics on this page
The international association ITxPT (Information Technology for Public Transport) aims to simplify technologies for public transport operators and suppliers by creating a uniform standard for all stakeholders. Away from proprietary systems and towards an open architecture based on the well-established Internet Protocol (IP).
ITxPT is relevant to three key user groups: Public transport operators and line/fleet operators, IT suppliers and vehicle manufacturers.
What Are the Advantages of the ITxPT Standard?
Simplification of the board architecture
ITxPT provides specifications for a standardized IT architecture with open interfaces that allow seamless data exchange between different onboard and back-office systems. By simplifying the IT infrastructure, devices and systems can easily communicate with each other via a common communication backbone. System functionalities can be expanded gradually and at any time – e.g., to include Wi-Fi access, modern ticketing systems, mobile applications, etc.
Connection between all onboard systems
Proprietary systems are out, standardized solutions are in. A vehicle communication gateway enables communication with all installed systems, modules, devices and the back office. This means that system silos can be avoided.
ITxPT-compliant modules, even if they come from different vendors, can be combined and operated together in one vehicle (multi-vendor environment).
Cost reduction through simple maintenance
Simply by eliminating antenna redundancies (only one antenna is needed), hardware acquisition costs and maintenance efforts are significantly reduced. With the ITxPT architecture, software installation and updates can be performed remotely and simultaneously for the entire fleet from the back office. This also eliminates the need for maintenance contracts with external general contractors, as the public transport operator is in control of the standardized system itself. Investment, installation and maintenance costs are lower overall for ITxPT architectures, as studies by an ITxPT working group have shown. An ITxPT-compliant infrastructure can reduce costs by 30% over a five-year period.
Benefits for passengers
ITxPT improves service to passengers by facilitating the delivery of real-time information through the easy integration of disparate systems and eliminating proprietary technologies that were common in the past. Essentially, all ITxPT devices can be deployed on a “plug and play” basis.
In addition, specifications on the placement and installation of the devices save space and make the entire on-board system smarter, creating more spatial comfort for passengers.
What Is the Role of ITxPT in Public Transport?
The public transit industry is characterized by long investment cycles and IT systems that are slow to evolve. Legacy siloed systems are often found in existing vehicle fleets. These are multiple proprietary systems that do not work with standardized protocols. Systems such as CCTV, passenger information, on-board payment or passenger counting systems are not interconnected and only work in silos.
This takes up a lot of space that could be made available to passengers and their comfort, makes installation and maintenance access difficult, and causes cabling difficulties.
The ITxPT standard solves all these typical problems in buses and trains with the help of integrated systems. The basis of integrated systems is interoperability between systems operating on a common IP network.
Compliance with ITxPT standards is becoming a common requirement in public tenders. Some transport authorities and operators are already using ITxPT as the basis for tenders for IT components to ensure that vehicles and IT systems are compatible with each other.
Which ITxPT Specifications Are There?
With its specifications for an open IT architecture for communication in vehicles and between vehicles and the back office, ITxPT is laying the foundation for a paradigm shift. ITxPT is neither a system nor a software. It is simply a set of rules for data exchange; a common language with provisions for data formats and protocols for transmitting the data. The ITxPT specifications do not constrain IT. They simply provide a framework for designing hardware and software so that modules can be integrated into a coherent architecture.
ITxPT defines interoperability at 3 levels:
Installation rules, space requirements, connectors, etc.
Communication protocol level:
Interfaces, service declaration, etc.
List of services, format of services, format of data, etc.
The scope of ITxPT is continuously developed by the organization and currently includes the following services:
- Module inventory
- Time service
- GNSS location
- MQTT broker
What Is The ITxPT Label?
To ensure interoperability between devices and systems, ITxPT provides a testing process that tests IT modules, vehicles and software against the ITxPT standard. To make conformance visible, the ITxPT association provides a “label” showing that the module has been successfully tested.
As a module supplier, our Ethernet Switches have been tested in an ITxPT laboratory. The official test reports are available on our product pages.
What Is The Role Of Ethernet Switches In ITxPT?
In legacy siloed systems with proprietary architectures, there was no significant need for Ethernet Switches. Modern, integrated on-board systems, on the other hand, use a common IP network. This creates new network management requirements: sensitive data (e.g., ticketing, CCTV) must be separated from the rest of the shared network. In addition, the status of the network should be monitored so that problems can be detected in good time. It is also important that the network can be maintained in a simple and efficient way and without IT expertise. To do all this, the ITxPT standard calls for the use of Ethernet Switches with M12 connectors, which provide the necessary infrastructure for data exchange between all connected systems.
In order to offer the public transport industry the maximum of Ethernet technology, we put all our knowledge and skills into the (further) development of our ROQSTAR M12 Ethernet Switches. Learn more about our M12 Ethernet Switches, our M12 Managed Switches and M12 Unmanaged Switches and PoE Switches.
Our products are fundamental for the digitalization in public transport. ROQSTAR M12 Ethernet Switches provide the network infrastructure for e-ticketing, passenger counting systems (PCS), dynamic passenger information (DPI) and closed-circuit television (CCTV).