Citizen-oriented travel information platform “Verkehrsinformationsagentur Bayern” (VIB) starts operating in Germany
Erlangen, On behalf of the Free State of Bavaria, Germany, a consortium led by the Siemens Mobility Division has set up a statewide travel information agency-Verkehrsinformationsagentur Bayern (VIB). The VIB provides up-to-date information on all modes of transportation, enabling travelers and road users to optimally plan trips in Bavaria and to select the routes that are best suited to them. To this end, traffic data for private and public means of transportation ranging from the private car and bicycle to all forms of rail travel are compiled, evaluated and made available to travelers and road users free of charge via the internet platform “Bayerninfo”. This makes it easier to avoid very busy routes and peak hours and to choose the best combination of different means of mobility. The platform is operated by VIB GmbH, a company specially established for this purpose by Siemens and PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG.
“The Verkehrsinformationsagentur Bayern promotes the efficient use of the transport infrastructure in Bavaria,” said Hans-Joerg Grundmann, CEO of Siemens Mobility. “Siemens Mobility specializes in solutions that ensure mobility for both people and goods. It is time to link the many existing individual solutions to each other, but it has to be done intelligently so that each transportation system can fully exploit its strengths. For us, the VIB is a successful example of how modes of transportation can be networked and travel information can be pooled in the sense of our motto ‘Complete mobility’”.
This travel information agency offers a comprehensive range of traffic data for all private and public means of transportation. It is the foundation for innovative, citizen-oriented travel information systems as well as for a range of other different but related services, some of which are free and some of which have to be paid for. The VIB system provides diverse services based on the “Intrest” geo-data platform. In addition to details of present and predicted traffic situations on freeways, intermodal travel information is calculated and provided to citizens on the basis of the latest collected traffic data and forecasts as well as on the weather. A third service called “Bayernnetz für Radler” (Bavarian network for cyclists) caters to recreation and tourism-related demands. It indicates attractive cycling routes, together with sights worth seeing and gradients along each route. These services and a wide variety of other information are available on the Internet at bayerninfo.de.
“Our experience with the beta version released so far has been positive,” said Uwe Strubbe from Siemens and one of the directors of VIB GmbH. “Up to now, we have had between 100,000 and 150,000 users per month and, during the summer months, even as many as 300,000.” Sixty percent of the people asked for information about the traffic situation, while 25 percent used the travel information services and 15 percent consulted the Bavarian network for cyclists. Most calls come in between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and at weekends.
The VIB project is based on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. The consortium that set it up includes not only Siemens but also the companies PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG, Karlsruhe, MDV Mentz Datenverarbeitung GmbH, Munich, and micKS MSR GmbH, Oberstdorf. The project is being financed by the Free State of Bavaria, which will become the owner of the systems once they have been fully set up. The operating company established by Siemens Mobility and PTV possesses the rights of use until the end of 2015. Any earnings arising from extra services offered for a fee will be used to maintain operations, provide the basic free Internet services and expand the system in future.
The travel information agency of Bavaria was set up and put into operation in stages. At the same time as the VIB information center was being built, talks with local communities were held in order to acquire further traffic data and thus widen the range of information relating to road networks in communities and the public transportation network. This database can also be used for community traffic management. In this regard, existing subsystems such as traffic computers, parking guidance systems and information systems can be combined for the purposes of management, traffic control and planning. At the same time, the extensive data pool that is being created has the potential to be used to generate services that benefit local authorities and companies. There are also plans to incorporate travel information from Italy, Austria and Switzerland into the VIB travel information agency as a further stage of expansion. This will enable other services to be provided such as the provision of cross-border traffic and transport information for the area around the Alps.
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The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the worldwide leading supplier of production, transportation, building and lighting technologies. With integrated automation technologies as well as comprehensive industry-specific solutions, Siemens increases the productivity, efficiency and flexibility of its customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure. The Sector consists of six Divisions: Building Technologies, Drive Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility and Osram. With around 222,000 employees worldwide Siemens Industry posted a profit of EUR3.86 billion with revenues totalling EUR38 billion in fiscal year 2008 (ended September 30). http://www.siemens.com/industry
The Mobility Division (Erlangen, Germany) is the internationally leading provider of transportation and logistics solutions. With its “Complete mobility” approach, the Division is focused on networking the various modes of transportation in order to ensure the efficient transport of people and goods. “Complete mobility” combines the company’s competence in operations control systems for railways and traffic control systems for roadways together with solutions for airport logistics, postal automation, traction power supplies and rolling stock for mass transit, regional and mainline services, turnkey systems as well as forward-looking service concepts. www.siemens.com/mobility
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