World first as Hitachi Rail digitally connects Genoa’s transport network

Hitachi Rail has digitally connected public and private hire transport across an entire city – a feat that could transform how people travel around towns and cities. The feat has been achieved using technology from Hitachi’s new smart mobility suite Lumada Intelligent Mobility Management.

The technology can be used in towns and cities across the world. In the launch programme – in Genoa, Italy – Hitachi has connected 663 buses, 2500 bus stops, the metro line used by 15 million passengers annually, two funiculars, one historic hillside railway, 10 public lifts and two suburban bus routes that span 50km. Users can also hire an electric car, pay for parking, or find an e-moped via the touch of a button on their mobile phones

As part of the world-first trial, Hitachi’s 360Pass smart ticketing app has eradicated the need to ‘touch-in’ or download multiple apps for different transport services. It 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.

It also allows passengers to check how busy bus services are through the app, enabling them to choose less crowded services. This feature can help allay the increased anxiety about crowding, post-Covid19.

360Pass is being delivered in partnership with Genoa’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 faces similar transport challenges to cities around the world – congestion, emissions, and delivering quality services. The ambition on behalf of the city’s leadership is to unlock a step change in the use of sustainable mass transport across the metropolitan area.

Hitachi’s 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 gives operators the ability to connect, scale and optimise their city’s entire transportation network in real time.

The over 7,000 Bluetooth sensors installed in Genoa help to create 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 is a powerful tool to allow 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, allow operators to react more effectively to disruption or large-scale events, such as concerts or sporting events, happening across the city. By joining up information about the level of emissions and congestion in different geographical area, it allows operators to make smart decision about where to target electrification of services 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, said: “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 around the world. From Dusseldorf to Dubai, Istanbul to Toronto – we can help operations connect, scale and optimise their entire transportation network through a single platform.”

Marco Beltrami, president of AMT, Genoa’s public transport operator, said: “GoGoGe, the name we chose in Genoa for Hitachi’s 360Pass app, offers a unique travel experience to our customers with the game-changing hands-free technology. We can follow our customers throughout their journey, across all transport systems, getting a clear picture of their end-to-end journey.

“Deploying Hitachi’s technology is a great opportunity for both AMT and the city of Genoa to be a leader in smart mobility and test innovative technologies that will make a big difference to travel in cities around the world.”

Image credit: Hitachi Rail

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