Custom Transit Applications to Monitor On-Board Devices

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Public Transit Operations Require Solutions That Can Support High Bandwidth

As our earlier post on router selection highlighted, selecting the ideal device goes beyond checking boxes on a spec sheet. With precise requirements across various use cases, it’s important to consider how each device in contention will align with current user expectations, existing infrastructure, and future scalability. While many clients can fulfill their needs by reviewing data sheets and technical specifications and matching their requirements with existing out-of-the-box solutions, there are cases where unique and innovative solutions must be developed and deployed.

This requirement isn't just limited to devices; it also extends to management platforms. One of USAT’s Professional Services public transit clients required customized programming that operated on their devices and had the ability to showcase specific data within the device management system.

Similar to the client in our last post, this client chose the Sierra Wireless MG90 due to their substantial bandwidth requirements for pay fares, digital video recorders (DVRs), public and private Wi-Fi setups, and a variety of other functionalities. They also employed Sierra Wireless’s AirLink Mobility Manager (AMM) platform to streamline device and fleet management, which seamlessly aligned with their routers.

Monitoring Transit Agency Fleet Vehicle Device Status

Offline Devices Lead To Lost Revenue and Decreased Rider Safety and Satisfaction

Although the MG90 device and the extensive AMM platform initially met their requirements, they encountered an issue that wasn’t related to the routers or the application. Instead, they began to notice that their onboard devices occasionally went offline due to loose connections to power or ethernet lines, manufacturer defects, or general maintenance problems.

When pay fare systems faltered, buses missed collecting fares, and offline DVRs disrupted passenger and driver safety monitoring. If onboard digital displays were down, it impacted rider satisfaction and the revenue from advertisers who pay to display ads on these screens. Downed displays also impacted the ability to convey vital emergency alerts to riders.

The client contacted the USAT Professional Services team to establish a system for immediate alerts when any of their utilized devices experienced downtime. This proactive approach allowed them to quickly identify buses and systems requiring maintenance, ensuring timely repairs and efficient maintenance prioritization.

Our expert professional services team developed a script to monitor the status of all onboard devices, sending real-time reports via AMM to indicate whether the devices were operational or offline. Upon implementation, this enhanced functionality significantly boosted their operational efficiencies.

AirLink Mobility Manager

About AirLink Mobility Manager

AirLink Mobility Manager (AMM) is a cloud-based management platform developed by Sierra Wireless. It is designed to enable centralized management, monitoring, and control of connected devices, including routers and gateways, in industrial and enterprise IoT applications. This platform allows businesses to remotely configure, update, and troubleshoot their devices, ensuring efficient and secure operation of their IoT networks. 

AirLink MG90

About the AirLink MG90

The AirLink MG90 is a high-performance 5G router designed for critical public safety, transit, and field services applications. It provides reliable, secure, and high-speed connectivity for vehicles, enabling various applications like video streaming, data transfer, and mission-critical communications. The MG90 router is part of Sierra Wireless' AirLink series and is known for its robustness, advanced features, and ability to support multiple networks and carriers.

About USAT

USAT specializes in designing and deploying mobile wireless data connectivity solutions for organizations of all sizes — complete with implementation, training, proof of concept (POC), system auditing, and on-site RF surveying services with optional engineering maintenance contracts.

Our team not only helps you select, provision, and activate devices, we make sure they work in practical applications and real-life situations.

For over 25 years, USAT has provided mobile communications solutions for various public and private transit agencies across the USA. With our extensive catalog of world-class routers, gateways, and software designed for remote monitoring and management in even the harshest environments — you can count on us to get and keep you connected.

Better mobile connectivity translates to less manual equipment maintenance, reduced downtime, and an overall increase in your business's ROI. Contact the experts at USAT to learn how our wireless networking solutions can help meet your organization's exacting needs.

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