Preventing System Failures in Public Transport Vehicles: Role of Ethernet Switches

24 Nov, 2023

In digitalized buses and trains, data is of enormous importance for both transport operators and passengers. Therefore, system failures in public transportation require special attention. Network switches act as unsung heroes here, preventing or resolving issues.

Significance of Digital Systems for Economic Efficiency and Passenger Satisfaction in Public Transport

Digital systems are indispensable for passenger satisfaction and operational efficiency in public transportation (PT). Modern PT vehicles are equipped with a variety of digital systems, including passenger information systems, electronic timetables, vehicle occupancy data, CCTV, passenger Wi-Fi, and contactless payment systems. These systems serve as crucial support for passengers in travel planning, promote a more relaxed journey, and significantly contribute to increasing passenger satisfaction.

Transport operators benefit from increased profitability due to satisfied passengers. Additionally, systems like automated passenger counting enable economic planning of vehicle requirements and deployment, as well as the optimization of routes and schedules. Moreover, they can serve as the basis for funding and investments in modernization and fleet expansion.

Therefore, ensuring continuous data availability and early detection of network errors is of utmost importance.

Role of Ethernet Switches for Error-Free Data Collection in Digitalized Transport

Modern transport operators increasingly rely on digital systems for automated passenger counting (APC) in their vehicles. The collection of entry and exit data by APC sensors at every door generates important information for operational planning. The continuous functionality of automated passenger counting systems (APC) is crucial for economic viability and passenger friendliness. Intelligent Ethernet switches significantly contribute to error detection, not only within passenger counting systems but also across the entire IP network.

Ethernet switches play a significant role in maintaining data collection in digitalized vehicles. They detect system failures even with sporadic issues. While onboard computers can detect failures through cyclical queries, errors due to poor cabling may go unnoticed. In such cases, managed Ethernet switches prove their worth by helping to identify potential sources of errors early and signaling them to the transport operator.


Periodic Polling vs Event-Based Error Outputs

Periodic polling has a significant drawback: it doesn’t know what happens between polls. If the interval is set too narrow, a lot of unnecessary data is produced in the network.

Event-based error outputs are only sent over the network when an actual error occurs. This push principle is also utilized by ROQSTAR Managed Switches to detect sporadically occurring errors.

Possibilities of Managed Ethernet Switches for Real-Time Monitoring and Error Diagnosis

Modern preparations by transport operators enable immediate diagnosis of device failures in moving vehicles through a digitalized infrastructure and live data from the vehicle fleet. Ethernet switches not only act as a link for onboard devices in the network but, if equipped with management functions, also have the capability to send real-time error messages to the control center. By mastering various protocols, managed Ethernet switches can transmit specific error messages in predefined conditions to the control center, depending on the existing IT infrastructure of the control center.

Depending on the IT infrastructure, managed Ethernet switches utilize different protocols for network monitoring or error detection. Upon occurrence of a disturbance, the control center is informed.

There are several diagnostic possibilities within an IP network:

  • Remote Logging: This mechanism is crucial for Ethernet switches in public transport. Log entries and changes in these switches are transmitted to a remote logging server in the control center. Depending on the severity of the fault, further actions or notifications can be initiated by the local server of the control center.
  • Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP): It is a standardized protocol that enables comprehensive monitoring. This monitoring extends to various aspects of the switches and their functions in the network.
  • ITxPT xStatus protocol: The DNS-SD protocol, especially the ITxPT xStatus protocol, defined by the ITxPT organization, allows detailed monitoring of Ethernet switches. This protocol not only permits monitoring at the device level but also querying the status of these devices in the vehicle, enabling specific information retrieval at the vehicle and fleet level.

Swift Responsiveness is Crucial

Finally, swift responsiveness in diagnosing and rectifying system failures in public transport is of paramount importance. Efficient monitoring and reliable system surveillance through suitable devices like ROQSTAR M12 Managed Ethernet Switches enable transport operators to maintain uninterrupted data flow from various systems.

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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).


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