onway – simply connected
onway is the smart solution for secure, high-performance communication for all mobile applications. Whether it is a vehicle-to-ground or an innovative IoT solution, onway makes networking simple and reliable. The devices are simply configured, managed and monitored via an intelligent cloud application. Traditional functions such as inventory management and monitoring devices, as well as configuring management and alarming, are combined in a modern back-end system.
Improving the quality of operating processes
Nowadays, rail vehicles incorporate a range of isolated applications. The potential of increasing digitalisation and emerging IoT applications promises to simplify operating processes and to lower costs. However, this only works with a consistent, integrated communications solution combining various sensors and applications, and allowing secure communication between them.
All in one
By connecting peripheral systems, such as customer information, ticketing and cash-register systems, as well as passenger counters, the system can provide staff with important data. This forms the basis for a better understanding of real-time situations and allows staff and passengers alike to be provided with personalised travel information. This then lays the foundations for new business models, such as dynamic ticket pricing and much more.
onway offers the most stable rail-to-ground connection possible for a variety of functions:
Digital customer interface
In the age of digitalisation, passengers expect more than to be transported from A to B. The average commuter spends so much time travelling that they want to use it, either working, on social media or being entertained. Passengers therefore expect to have seamless access to relevant online services when travelling by rail. Moreover, competitors such as airlines and long-distance buses offer internet and entertainment services, which further increases the pressure from politicians and the public to offer digital services on top of transport services.
Passengers prefer to access the internet via wireless LAN. According to market research carried out by Deutsche Bahn, travellers believe WLAN access is absolutely indispensable or especially important on long-distance (72%) and local trains (47%), as well as in train stations (48%). For transport companies, WLAN provides the (only) direct digital access to customers. It is only possible to communicate directly with passengers using WLAN technology, since WLAN makes it possible to play content locally, which has been made available via the on-board computer, including music, films, tourism information and advertising. It is only thanks to WLAN technology that we can locate passengers exactly to provide them with location- and context-related travel information and services. Moreover, it is only thanks to WLAN technology that we can measure the number of travellers per vehicle in real time, track customers’ journeys in real time and thus provide better, personalised information in the event of a disruption.
Personalised and context-based travel information
Modern passenger information includes real-time information about punctuality, disruptions, expected arrival times, as well as connections as standard. However, common “broadcast” messages tend to hinder rather than help – particularly for non-resident passengers. However, digitalisation and smartphones would make it completely possible to provide every passenger with location-dependent, personalised and context-related travel information. There are two conditions for this: 1) Knowing the passenger’s route and 2) knowing exactly where the passenger currently is. Thanks to electronic ticketing and exact WLAN localisation of passengers, this vision can already become reality today.
On-board data centre
In addition to selling tickets, the potential for transport companies to sell other digital services is huge. Digitalisation occurs in software: in new apps and digital services with local interaction, such as online seat reservations, in-seat service, first class upgrades, high-speed WLAN, couponing, on-board shopping, etc. This means that rail vehicles need basic infrastructure in place to roll out digital innovation across vehicles as quickly as possible. Our solution gives you the possibility to roll out new software (as a container or VM) automatically across your entire fleet. This means you are on the market with new innovative services in no time.
Passenger tracking/passenger counting
Smartphones are continually emitting signals that can be received and evaluated by the local WLAN network. This allows passenger streams to be monitored in real time, passengers can be counted without any additional measuring equipment, passengers’ journeys can be followed and customer segmentation can thus be undertaken. All this may be done anonymously without customers’ consent to obtain statistical information on the use of their own services. Otherwise, the information gathered can be linked with personal data, if it is available and customers explicitly give their consent.
IoT data collection
Rail vehicles already generate significant volumes of data. But digitalisation and the IoT have now made it possible to access this valuable information online. This allows deviations and faults to be recognised before they occur (predictive maintenance), and maintenance orders can be completed before the fault occurs (prescriptive maintenance). Companies such as TRENITALIA are already saving over EUR 1 billion thanks to “condition-based maintenance”. Our IoT gateways allow you to gather, aggregate, correlate and (if necessary and required) forward a range of data in central data centres (private or public clouds).
Digitalisation provides numerous possibilities for increasing passengers’ sense of security. Real-time access to all on-board monitoring cameras to follow situations “live” as they unfold in the event of an emergency, “emergency buttons” integrated in apps that connect passengers directly with security forces’ operation centres and automatically activate the camera function on smartphones in order to directly share photos or videos, including location information, etc. Emergency personnel obtain a great deal of precise information about the events as they unfold and can therefore manage their interventions more effectively.
Operations and management
One of the central challenges of digitalisation lies in managing the fast-growing number of IT solutions. “Zero-touch” deployment, real-time monitoring, “zero-touch” software updates, incorporating security patches during on-going operation, etc., are key functions for efficient operation. The onway solution already manages over 2000 vehicles fully remotely, this means without any on-site interventions, which has allowed our customers to quickly advance their digitalisation projects without affecting their fleet’s on-going operation.
“Pervasive” train-to-ground communication
One of the most demanding functions on moving vehicles is providing a stable and as highly performing train-to-ground connection as possible. This not only means that modules in the vehicle have to be controlled using traffic control functions, but also the tunnel end points on the ground side (since “download” traffic is always greater than “upload” traffic). onway continually measures the capacity of all available communication channels and distributes them to the various applications based on priority specifications. onway maximises the bandwidth of any technology, be it several mobile networks in parallel, satellite connections, WLAN uplinks, etc. onway also offers the necessary security to not only transfer passengers’ internet traffic but also all the company’s internal applications (e.g. ticket reader, driver iPads, etc.) using the same communication network. Thanks to network virtualisation, integrated firewall and “quality of service” functions, onway gives you full control over the entire vehicle-to-ground communication, which increases the efficiency of your vehicle fleet and lowers costs.
Intelligent hardware in rail transport
- Optimum communication unit for vehicles
- Secure transfer of usage data (IPsec with certification)
- Secure, continuous connection with central monitoring and management system
- Zero-touch deployment ex works
- Maximum bandwidth using LTE Advanced (Cat 16 up to 1 Gbps) and WLAN 802.11ac
- Secure, logical separation of internal and external data connections
- Adaptive control circuit for the best possible data transfer results
- Redundancy through evaluating link telemetry data
- Detection of vehicle ignition voltage (run-on time)
- Very fast boot process (< 30 seconds)
- Modern software architecture, perfect for mobile cloud applications
- Monitoring of vital router functions
- Software developed in-house and based on Linux®