In this always-connected world, people increasingly need to be online when they are travelling, and expect the same quality of service as they receive in a home or office. In reality, speed and reliability has been significantly lower in trains or other vehicles, with a resulting impact on productivity and user satisfaction.
The main challenge is to connect a rapidly-moving vehicle over long distances to the cloud, with any level of reliability. This can be addressed by installing an edge node inside the train (or other vehicle) itself, which manages connectivity and data processing locally, to avoid the need to communicate with distant servers.
An edge node can greatly improve the speed and quality of response for online applications, but there are still challenges to fit them across an entire railway fleet, since most carriages have a 40-year replacement cycle. Veea’s SmartTransport Hub offers an affordable solution which can be retrofitted to older rolling stock to deliver reliable connectivity and data services the move.
Veea SmartTransport Hub combines local connectivity and cloud computing capabilities to create a self-contained local network which allows users to connect over short distances, using a variety of wireless protocols. It also enables data to be processed on the train, avoiding the delays associated with significant transmission to a distant server.
All this improves quality of service and responsiveness, enabling travellers to use the same applications as at home and enabling transport operators to improve the efficiency and security of train operations.
SmartTransport Hub means passengers are able to communicate, work and relax, using the same applications as they would at home, with the same quality of experience. This improves their satisfaction with the railway service and their likelihood of using it in future, with positive impact on the railway’s business performance.
The Veea SmartTransport Hub also enables railway operators to provide added value services for passengers, such as travel updates or specialized and targeted content.
Veea’s SmartTransport Hub dramatically changes the economics and efficiency of delivering edge computing for train operators. SmartTransport Hubs use a distributed computing platform running over a wireless mesh, with applications running locally on the platforms. The end-to-end hardware and software solution can be rapidly installed. One or two servers are located in each carriage. Together they create a secure mesh network that covers an entire train.
Veea’s SmartTransport Hub saves operators up to 95% of the cost of installing ethernet cabling in trains. This means Veea’s solution can also be simply and affordably deployed in older carriages, rather than waiting for planned refits or upgrades of carriages.
Using Veea’s SmartTransport Hub, transport operators can analyse many types of operational data in near-real time to take immediate decisions which will improve the reliability of the journey. For instance, engineering and running data from different parts of the train can be collected and analysed; along with information from immediately outside the vehicle such as track-side systems.
Transport operators could also track passenger activity and behaviour, for marketing or security purposes. All these can help to improve train efficiency and security, and provide a more valuable service to users.