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Huawei debuts intelligent buses in SA

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Huawei yesterday debuted its intelligent transportation system (ITS) solution for buses at the i-Transport & UATP Conference and Exhibition 2017 in Sandont.
The system, which is already operational in a handful of cities around the world, is being shown in Africa for the first time.
Using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, the system offers a variety of safety and security services such as in-bus video surveillance, accurate passenger tracking, emergency services communication, realtime bus health data analysis and even allows for a host of multi-media services for passenger entertainment.
By enabling high-speed internet connectivity to buses, stakeholders can also access high-definition in-bus video surveillance to monitor driver and passenger status, analyse driver performance, highlight potential safety issues such as suspicious passenger activities and even allow for swift connectivity to emergency services in the event of an accident or crime.
The system could go a long way to improving safety on buses, efficiency and reliability, says Alex Du, MD of Huawei Enterprise South Africa. In fact, by effectively monitoring and managing the buses and the entire system, operators could help to boost the use of public transport by more citizens.
The ITS solution for buses effectively turns the bus into a device on the IoT network. An onboard gateway links GPS sensors and also provides broadband and WiFi connectivity on the vehicle.
This allows high definition realtime video, voice and data to be transmitted form the bus to the control centre, and also to stream entertainment or information to bus users.
IP cameras give the driver and control centre a holistic view of the bus surroundings, which allows for quicker response to emergencies, while also letting the control centre monitor driver performance and passenger safety.
Importantly, the ITS solution for buses integrates seamlessly with GPS and can work in conjunctions with other systems. This means the gateway can link to GPS technology to allow for accurate bus positioning – so control centre can monitor where the bus is at all times in realtime.
Having access to realtime positioning on a large scale map, controllers can detect where there are accidents and reroute the bus where necessary. This saves the operator in mileage, fuel and carbon emissions.
The ITS solution for buses is the first in the ITS portfolio to be launched in South Africa, Du says. Other solutions will cater to taxis, trains, BRT and other forms of public transport.
The ITS portfolio is part of Huawei’s Smart Cities initiative, he adds, and will allow cities to eventually integrate all the disparate systems into one control centre for more efficient monitoring and management of the city’s functions.
The Huawei ITS integrates leading ICT technology and intelligent algorithms to support traffic data centres, Internet Protocol Multiprotocol Label Switching (IP MPLS) and optical transmission network, video surveillance platforms and other ICT infrastructure in order to build a comprehensive unified traffic management platform. It is applied to monitor and control urban traffic to improve traffic safety and efficiency, and includes features such as traffic signal control, electronic policing, traffic flow data collection and traffic guidance, through an integrated traffic management command control centre.
Every year, the economic losses caused by traffic congestion accounts for nearly 2% of the global GDP, and more than 30-million traffic accidents have resulted in the deaths or injury of over 1,3-million people. The WHO’s Global Road Safety Report rated Africa’s roads the world’s deadliest. The continent is home to 40 of the 50 countries with the highest road death tolls. Often, inefficient transportation management methods are blamed for many of these incidents.
“Next-generation intelligent transportation solutions should enable the transport sector and travelers to achieve agile operation, convenient user experience and enhanced safety,” says Du. “With an integrated design and an open platform, the solution will be able to help bus operators reduce maintenance costs, enable the offering of additional value-added services, and overall traveling experience for South African passengers.”
“Huawei believes that innovative ICT is the core driving force for smart solutions. We are committed to laying a solid foundation that offers flexible information sharing, ubiquitous broadband access, a high level of service agility and security for transportation industry development. Huawei also provides an open ICT platform and will continue to work with partners in Africa to build an efficient, win-win industry ecosystem to promote the deployment of intelligent applications.”