Visitors to the Public Transport Exhibition 2004, taking place in Paris, 16-19 June, will discover the first intelligent Wi-Fi service system embedded into a city bus. This innovation
in the field of public transport enables bus employees and commuters to access precise information through their mobile hardware (laptops, PDAs.) depending on the time of day and the location of the bus, using the Appear
Networks' mobile server and a Cisco based wireless infrastructure.
For instance, if the bus approaches the Paris International Gare du Nord station (Waterloo equivalent)[xjo1], commuters equipped with Wi-Fi hardware can immediately check departure times for the next tube or RER leaving the station and can have a list of shops and restaurants in the area. The bus driver can for example send geo-localised alerts to the control centre if a car is parked in the bus lane.
During the exhibition, Appear Networks, in partnership with Cisco and RATP (French Subway), will demonstrate this technological innovation. They will also show the originality and dynamics associated with these services provided by RATP, as well as other innovations exhibited during the show.
At the RATP booth, J53, inside the Wi-Fi equipped bus (Booth L62), a pilot test of these services will be enacted. Much more than simple wireless
Internet access, information relating to the local area, the district or the town, information relating to the transport network traffic and transport tickets as well as tube and bus time tables can be downloaded onto any mobile hardware.
This 'intelligent' bus will be equipped with a mobile access router provided by Cisco. This enables continuous access to all centralised information through two kinds of wireless links: using Wi-Fi as the bus approaches a hotspot and GPRS throughout the rest of the trip.
"The project of an intelligent bus allowed us for the first time to use our technology in the sphere of embedded systems", states Xavier Aubry,
Marketing and Sales Director for Appear Networks. "The combination of a mobile access router from Cisco and the Appear Server enables employees and
commuters of the French RATP to experience uninterrupted mobile access to local services. Other additional information relating to traffic and security can be added in real time to the server, enabling workers to react faster to any disruption on the transport network".
This pilot is the first step to a larger test of the Appear Networks technology on the 38 bus line of the French RATP, already equipped with
Wi-Fi, which goes from Northern to Southern Paris.