Macquarie Telecom’s public transport AI push

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Macquarie Telecom’s public transport AI push

Macquarie Telecom has completed a cloud and telco project for Transit Systems to provide better insights through artificial intelligence (AI).

The public transport operator is the largest operator of metropolitan public bus services in Australia. It has contracts in New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. It also operates bus services in London and Singapore.

Macquarie Telecom’s Group Executive Luke Clifton said Transit Systems was setting the benchmark for how Australian organisations need to modernise.

“Transit Systems is one of the best examples we’ve seen of a customer leveraging our full telco and cloud capabilities to revamp its business,” he said.

“The organisation recognised the limitations of the network and infrastructure very early, and instigated improvements well ahead of the industry to use voice, data, mobile, cloud, SD-WAN and nbn to power ahead and increase its competitiveness.”

Transit Systems is using Macquarie’s mobile SIM cards across its entire staff to monitor data including driver performance, acceleration, ticketing information, engine diagnostics.

The data is fed into Macquarie’s data centres and cloud services, the SI then adds AI for analysis and insights to improve the transport network.

Transit Systems CIO Warren Read-Zorn said that in the past one of the company;s busses might have used one SIM to provide simple voice communication.

“The importance of that requirement has not diminished but now we need so much more,” he added.

“Our previous environment was incapable of powering the AI capabilities we needed to stay competitive, which inspired the Macquarie overhaul. This started with mobiles and then the consolidation of our two legacy data centres into one.”

As a result of the deployment, Transit Systems now has access to breaking, acceleration and cornering data which will allow it to identify areas for improvement and increased efficiency.

The system also provides insights on traffic congestion and passenger loading to improve timetabling and safety.

As part of the overhaul, Macquarie deployed its SD-WAN services to 37 depots.

Macquarie said this helps manage the speed, efficacy and uptime of each site’s network and ensures drivers and depots can communicate and share data.

The SD-WAN services provide multiple network links and can automatically switch between them as required.

For each site, Macquarie is also managing the company’s nbn migration. The SI said Transit Systems also aims to work with Macquarie and transport authorities to add public Wi-Fi to each fleet over time.

The organisation now has a full view of its telecoms and cloud infrastructure through Macquarie’s View platform, as well as 24-hour local support through its HUB customer service centre.

“The nature of transport operations is changing and we’re building these capabilities further to meet the new demands of the industry,” said Read-Zorn.

“The ability to evolve these capabilities and add new digital services to meet consumer and tourist demand will be a major consideration for the future operation of transport routes.”

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