Operations

Avego Futurefleet Provides Real Time Info

Posted on July 7, 2010

Fixed-route operators can monitor their fleet more closely and control service performance. Customers get a heads-up on when their ride will arrive.

KINSALE, Ireland - AVEGO, a global provider of software, hardware and professional services for passenger transportation, offers Futurefleet, a hosted real-time information and management system for bus and coach operators.

The system is ideal for carriers running fixed-route services since it provides tourists and commuters with reliable real-time departure and arrival times. It enables charter operators to increase ridership, improve service punctuality, and deliver exceptional customer service.

Launched in 2008, Futurefleet features real-time passenger information (RTPI); web-based Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL); schedule adherence notifications; extensive web-based management reporting capabilities; and GPS-enabled mobile data terminal (MDT) with touchscreen.

"Futurefleet is designed to suit needs ranging from a small coach operator to a large public transit authority with thousands of vehicles. The customer can select from a range of end-to-end capabilities to suit their unique needs. As a hosted solution, Futurefleet is flexible, scalable and can be rapidly deployed," said Emmett Murphy, director of marketing communications, Avego.

A web interface allows the operator to set new pricing, routes and schedules, with changes being instantly pushed out to the buses the next time a driver logs in, he added.

In addition, operators can optimize performance and service predictability using the intuitive Futurefleet Manager web interface, which includes real-time route, schedule, headway and passenger load monitoring; vehicle location history reports; the ability to import existing data or quickly add new stops, routes and schedules, and to receive automated reports by e-mail. Changes are instantly published throughout the system.

Coach operators are using the application, Murphy said, to monitor and optimize their operational performance. In addition to being able to track vehicles in a real-time map view, operators can also monitor real-time schedule and headway performance. They can even subscribe to real-time service notifications - by e-mail, SMS, Growl or via a desktop client - for a range of events related to a chosen route or vehicle.

The schedule adherence feature helps drivers stay on schedule with real-time location-based information about their on-schedule performance. The Futurefleet Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) displays to drivers the scheduled departure time, improving service reliability and customer satisfaction.

As a hosted solution, Murphy pointed out, Futurefleet is very affordable, because operators do not need to invest in dedicated on-site hardware and personnel to administer the system. Customers can directly access the system online. Costs vary depending on customer-specific requirements, including equipment configuration, number of vehicles, level of service and support, the type of cellular data plan, and the overall volume of RTPI transactions needed. Typically, though, the price is in the range of $1,000 to $3,000 per vehicle, with monthly subscription charges of $40 to $100 per coach.

Another advantage of Futurefleet being a web-based hosted solution is that it can be deployed much more quickly than the legacy systems in the market, Murphy said. "Depending on the fleet size, it will take just weeks or months. For a single vehicle, Futurefleet can be installed and driving real-time passenger information in less than half an hour."

Related Topics: communications, fleet tracking, internet applications, two-way communications

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