Hitachi Rail has digitally connected public and private hire transport across an entire city for the first time. The milestone has been achieved in the city of Genoa in Italy using technology from Hitachi’s new smart mobility suite called Lumada Intelligent Mobility Management.

In Genoa, Hitachi has connected 663 buses, 2500 bus stops, the metro line used by 15 million per year, two funiculars, one historic hillside railway, 10 public lifts and two suburban bus routes that span 50km. Users also have the power – via the touch of a button on their mobile phones – to hire an electric car, pay for parking or find an e-moped.

As part of the world first trial, Hitachi’s 360Pass smart ticketing app has removed the need to purchase a traditional paper ticket ever again; or to ‘touch-in’ or download multiple apps for different transport services.

The 360Pass connects Bluetooth sensors that know when a passenger with the mobile app has boarded, how far they have travelled and when they disembarked. Users can take multi-modal journeys, but the 360Pass system will ensure they only pay the best possible fare at the end of each day.

The 360Pass app offers more personalised information about public transport journeys, including the fastest and most convenient multi-modal route options and real time journey updates.

The app also allows passengers to check how busy bus services are, enabling them to choose less crowded services. This feature can help allay the increased anxiety about crowding post-Covid-19.

360Pass is being delivered in partnership with the city’s public transport operator, AMT, and the Municipality of Genoa, using the local brand name GoGoGe. The technology is part of the municipality’s drive to boost the usage of both public and private e-hire services. The project aims to provide more easily identifiable solutions to the ‘last mile’ problem faced by passengers and public transport authorities around the world.

Genoa, home to two-thirds of a million people, faces similar transport challenges to cities around the world – congestion, emissions and delivering quality services. Technology offers a way to reduce the reliance on private vehicles – helping the municipality to meet its goals for congestion relief and reducing emissions – while optimising costs and the provision of transportation across the region.

In addition to the 360Pass mobile app for passengers, the Lumada Intelligent Mobility Management suite enables operators to connect, scale and optimise their city’s entire transportation network in real time.

The over 7,000 Bluetooth sensors installed in Genoa allow the creation of a “digital twin” of the region’s transport and passengers’ end-to-end multimodal journeys. This real-time electronic map of how the city is moving allows operators to optimise services, timetables and create a system that better accommodates the changing peaks and troughs in passenger demand. It can identify the issues that deter public transport usage, such as congestion, emissions, crowding or gaps in services.

In addition to smart ticketing, the suite can combine solutions to help operators control traffic flow and service patterns in real time, allowing operators to react more effectively to disruption or large-scale events (concerts or sporting) happening across the city. By joining up information about the level of emissions and congestion in different geographical areas, the suite also allows operators to make smart decisions about where to target electrification of services first and prioritise locations for charging for e-bus and e-car fleets and infrastructure.

Alessandro de Grazia, group head of smart ticketing at Hitachi Rail, says: “Hitachi’s Lumada Intelligent Mobility Management suite is a world first for smart mobility and can improve urban transport in cities around the world. For the first time, passengers can plan and access the most convenient multi-modal journey for the cheapest fare, without ever removing their phone from their pockets. Today, cities face the challenges of growing public transport use to reduce emissions, cut congestion and boost their recoveries. Our new solutions – proven in Genoa – provide a uniquely powerful platform for operators.”

Images: Hitachi Rail

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