Most devices on board a digitalized public transport vehicle use IP-based communication. In the following, we look at typical project phases for implementing an IP network in the vehicle.
Phase 1: Network Concept
The first step is to develop a concept for the network. This task is usually performed by a network architect. His or her tasks include defining the requirements for the network and selecting central network components (e.g., Ethernet switches). The requirements can include, for example, network topology, address ranges, segmentation and the use of certain communication protocols. The number of participants such as displays, counting sensors, validators, cameras, on the other hand, results from the intended application such as CCTV, DPI, PCS. You can get an overview of onboard devices in our public transport glossary. Ideally, a laboratory setup is implemented to test the conceived network. This is used to create, test and finalize the configuration for the network.
At a glance:
- Define requirements for the network
- Select network components
- Test the concept in the lab
- Finalize configuration specifications for the network
Phase 2: Pilot
The pilot phase represents a test in a moving vehicle. A few vehicles are equipped with a network and an IP application and tested on a moving vehicle before the entire fleet is upgraded or converted. In this phase, vehicle engineering and the workshop are already involved. Necessary work steps for the equipment are defined, tested and optimized.
At a glance:
- Initial installation in a small number of vehicles
- Testing and optimization on the road
- Preparation for rollout
Phase 3: Rollout
The rollout process requires careful planning among those involved in the project. It must be ensured that all components to be installed are ready for installation on time, the installation team is trained and the vehicles are ready for installation in the depot or workshop on schedule. In addition to mechanical assembly and cabling of the components, the network infrastructure must also be put into operation and its function tested by other participants. In this way, even a tight rollout schedule can be adhered to.
At a glance:
- Ensuring that components are installed according to plan
- Commissioning the network infrastructure
- Test the function of all nodes
Phase 4: Operation
This phase represents regular line operation. All IT applications are used to their full functional extent. The network infrastructure is generally maintenance-free. In the event of a fault, components are replaced with new ones. If the IT applications are expanded, the network can be adapted to the new conditions by means of an update.
At a glance:
- Line operation works as expected
- The network infrastructure is maintenance-free
- In the event of malfunctions or network expansions, devices can be replaced or updates can be performed
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