FourC AS awarded grant for €4M public transport IT R&D project
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Posted: 13 April 2015 | Lizzie Fuller
IoT platform company FourC AS has been awarded a grant from the Research Council of Norway to research and develop new technology solutions for public transport…
IoT platform company FourC AS has been awarded a grant from the Research Council of Norway to research and develop new technology solutions for public transport. The project will present new methods and solutions which will make it easier for public transport organisations to adopt SaaS (“Software as a Service”) deliveries with the implementation of new IT solutions. IT solutions for PT has for a long time been characterised by closed and archaic solutions which lock public transport authorities to a particular vendor over long periods of time and in the long run result in expensive solutions with little room for innovation and creativity.
The project will present recommendations on how to overcome such obstacles by demonstrating an open Service Platform solution which enables different vendors to install software as a service on a shared computer inside the vehicles. This will create a living marketplace that removes the lock-in barriers for new PT solutions and fuels innovation by offering a «living lab» for any PT software vendor that wants to try out new solutions without tedious hardware installations.
«We are really excited about this project. We believe it will move IT solutions for the public transport into a whole new era which will bring huge advantages to passengers, public transport companies and the public sector with respect to both costs and benefits», said Tor Rune Skoglund, CEO and founder of FourC.
In addition to the Service Platform itself, the project will demonstrate at least two new services combined on the platform that are significant innovations in themselves:
- A new, sensor-based solution for passenger detection which will make it easier for public transport companies to track the number of passengers on each stretch of a journey and how those passengers move through the transport system. This will help to improve planning of timetables, reduce journey times for passengers and bring more efficient use of vehicles and public funding.
- A new and open NFC-based ticketing system which uses the new, contactless bank cards which are currently being introduced by the banks – either as “usual” plastic cards or using NFC-enabled mobile phones. This will mean among other things that there will no longer be the necessity for special travel cards, prior registration to get the best possible prices, and that tourists and similar travellers will not need to purchase tickets in advance. This is also an important contribution to increasing safety for drivers in that cash can be completely removed from the bus itself.
The demonstration systems will be installed in 45 to 75 vehicles by two of the most innovative PTAs in Norway which cover the 3rd and 4th largest cities: AtB AS (Trondheim city/Sör-Tröndelag county) and Kolumbus AS (Stavanger city/Rogaland county). Several other regions’ PTAs are also involved with the project as associated partners.
FourC is conducting the project in cooperation with: SINTEF, the largest independent research institution in Scandinavia; Valyou, the largest TSM and contactless EMV NFC mobile wallet provider in Norway, and Samport, widely recognised as Scandinavia’s most innovative payment service provider.
The project is open to more innovative partners nationally and internationally who can field test their services in the «living lab» environment.