Have You Noticed? Your Passenger Information System is Down!
19 Oct, 2021

And suddenly the screen on the bus went black. However, only Ms. Smith, who was riding this line for the first time and had to rely on the stop display, noticed this. Thanks to the help of other passengers, she was still able to get off at the right stop. However, the screen error remained unresolved. For how long, do you think?

Sometimes it’s a loose contact that causes brief malfunctions now and then, sometimes it’s a poorly connected cable or even a device that has given up the ghost. It can happen that passenger information systems (PIS) in public transport vehicles fail for a short time or completely. However, it is not in the interest of the passengers that the failure remains unnoticed by the transport company for a longer period of time.

The Ethernet Switch – the Watchdog on Board Every Vehicle

Transportation companies that have taken state-of-the-art precautions can immediately diagnose equipment failures in the moving vehicle. The basic prerequisite for this is digitalization and the availability of live data from the vehicle fleet. An end-to-end IT infrastructure and intelligent devices in the vehicles are needed to immediately report the failure described above to the control center. Ethernet switches, which in their basic function connect onboard devices into a network, can also handle fault reporting if they possess management functions.

Depending on the existing IT infrastructure of the control center, managed Ethernet switches are capable of different protocols that can be used to send error messages to the control center when predefined conditions occur.

These Diagnostic Options Are Available

Remote logging: Here, all log entries and changes in the Ethernet switch can be mirrored to a remote logging server in the control center. Depending on the severity of the fault, further actions (notifications) can be taken by the local server at the control station.

SNMP Traps: Monitoring can be set up through the standardized and widely used Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).

ITxPT xStatus as part of DNS-SD: The discovery protocol in IP networks defined by the ITxPT (IT for Public Transport) organization can also be used for monitoring purposes.

While remote logging and SNMP are supported by many Ethernet switches, the more advanced protocols DNS-SD and xStatus are usually found in switches that comply with the specifications of the ITxPT organization. Based on these, devices and their status can be queried in a standardized way.

It’s All About Being Fast

Ultimately, the failure of a device that is essential to the passenger experience, such as the passenger information system, is a matter of speed. The faster the diagnosis is made, the faster the company can react and rectify the fault. Good for passengers, good for the image of the public transport operator.

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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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