CORDIS - EU research results

Low-cost and high-performance pocket Automated Vehicle Monitoring system for Public Transport

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CELSO (Low-cost and high-performance pocket Automated Vehicle Monitoring system for Public Transport)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Public Transport (PT) plays an important role in EU economy and society and is considered the main “tool” for achieving a “sustainable and smart” mobility in terms of accessibility, clean environment and social cohesion as set up in the EU policy for urban and metropolitan areas.

Among the PT offer, bus service covers the most relevant market share: from 80% (in metropolitan areas) to 100% (in small and medium towns) respect the other PT modalities (i.e tram, metro, light tram, etc.) involving about 14.000 Public Transport Operators (PTO) and 760.000 buses.
Therefore the high performances of Public Transport services, and in particular high quality of bus service, is a key factor for improving the competitiveness and social cohesion of urban areas and for reducing injuries and fatalities, CO2 and NOx (not last the health problems) due to the well known traffic congestion situation.
Regularity and reliability are the main indicators of the quality of the bus service and if not controlled they impact directly PTO costs (i.e. added vehicles in service for restoring the planned headway, higher fuel consumption, higher costs for vehicles maintenance, conflicting relations with drivers, etc.) and Public Transport Authorities/Agencies (PTA) policies (poor marketability of PT, increase of the use of private cars and critical environmental critical factors, etc.), PT users (increased waiting time at bus stop, lost connections, higher travelling time, etc.) and the whole community (increased costs for low quality service, decrease of urban livability, safety problems, etc.).

For monitoring and guaranteeing the regularity and reliability (and therefore the quality) of the bus services usually an ICT system is operated by the PT operator that, in the market, is indicated as Automatic Vehicle Monitoring system - AVM.

CELSO is a “revolutionary” low-cost AVM for bus transport market supporting the quality of bus service during the operation. CELSO allows to monitor and control the reliability and regularity guaranteeing their consistency with planned timetable, to collect service data (location, events, etc.) and to evaluate the service performances, with at least 70% costs reduction respect the current market AVM products.
In particular, CELSO is an effective solution for small/medium Public Transport Operators (PTO) and Public Transport Authorities/Agencies (PTA) which usually can’t face the high investment and operation costs of an AVM system.

In general better performances of PT in terms of reliability and regularity, supported by CELSO, will contribute to improve the efficiency and marketability of the service (reduced waiting time, faster travelling time) thus contributing to face the traffic congestion and pollution situation enhancing city livability, accessibility, competitiveness, social cohesion and reducing number of fatalities and health problems.
CELSO has been developed at prototypal level and demonstrated on a real Bus service scenario provided by Tiemme Spa - South Tuscany, one of the biggest PTO in Italy, well representative of the target market addressed by CELSO.

MemEx has validated the organizational structure and resources required for CELSO commercialization, demonstrated the technical effectiveness of CELSO system prototype and developed the related Business Plan.
In particular the work performed during the project development were based on three main tasks:
i) company validation,
ii) users needs and technical assessment,
iii) Business plan development.

The results of the work done in these three main tasks are summarized below.

i) Company Validation
CELSO system has been developed based on the 25-years experience of MemEx in consultancy to Public Transport Operators and Authorities in the field of Bus service quality and AVM systems. MemEx is the owner of the intellectual property of CELSO and wishes to maintain the full property of the CELSO product, managing directly the market phase and using CELSO as key driver for Company Business enlargement towards sw commercialization. The sw development related to the CELSO product will be subcontracted under the supervision of MemEx in order to reduce the time required for the commercialization on PT market.
New resources will be added to current MemEx staff until 20122 for CELSO commercialization covering technical area (7), marketing and sales (6) and administration/finance (5).

ii) Users needs and technical assessment
The small/medium PTO and PTA need a “simple” and ready-to-use tool to carry out the service control and validation at reduced costs. The related PTO-PTA needs not covered by the current AVM system, has been addressed by CELSO functionalities.
CELSO is based on large consultancy experience of MemEx in supporting Public Transport operators and Authorities in the sector of AVM systems and Bus services operation. In particular the already identified needs have been validated engaging different PTO/PTA representatives (both technicians and managers) through desktop research, target users questionnaire, focused workshops and participation to main EU and extra European conference/fair for transport.
During the whole development process of CELSO prototype, an iterative different testing activities was carried out in order to verify and guarantee high system performance.
Finally CELSO prototype was demonstrated in real Bus service environment provided by Tiemme Spa - South Tuscany, one of 10 bigger PTO in Italy. The demo results showed the high functional and operational performances of CELSO prototype identifying the need of some minor changes, at technological level, to be introduced in the final commercial product.

iii) Business Plan
For the definition of the Business Plan, MemEx carried out several and different analysis:
­- Market qualitative analysis: identification of primary and secondary target market, competitive benchmarking compared to the state of art of AVM market (SWOT analysis);
­- Market quantitative analysis: CELSO marketability in terms of market dimensions and achievable target;
­- Intellectual Propriety Rights (IPR) and readiness for CELSO commercialization;
­- Definition of sales approach. First clients of CELSO has been already engaged. Sales package, commercialization strategies and modalities have been identified too;
­- Quantification of the internal personnel costs coming from the results of the company validation (new employment growth in R&D staff and sales agent);
­- Profits and loss: including all the other costs categories related to CELSO commercialization.

The results of the above performed steps can be summarized as follow:
- CELSO clients are Public Transport Operators and Authorities: its primary market will be Bus market (conventional: urban, rural, interurban, flexible/DRT, rental, shuttle/P&R) even the product can be customized to other markets (car rental, taxi, logistics).
- CELSO provides AVM functionalities and service validation at low costs. The commercialization of CELSO is not bound by any restriction or use of third party component. CELSO will be commercialized in different architecture scenarios and sold under sw licenses or services depending on clients requirements and its IT backstage.
- CELSO Business Plan has been defined over 5 years: costs have been estimated as well as revenues. Gross margin will be about 9 MEuro in year 5, positive from year 2 (Growth rate equal to 170%). Gross margin percentage will be about 100% for the following years. First CELSO clients have been already identified among the Italian PT companies.
CELSO overtakes the technical, functional and operational drawbacks affecting current market of AVM products with the following features. Among the others:
- CELSO guarantees the AVM functionalities with 70% reduction for investment costs and 50% reduction for the operation costs;
- No on-board installation is necessary and simplified daily workflow cuts the realization and system operation start-up time;
- CELSO allows an effective service validation with a reduction of involved daily resources up to 50%;
- CELSO makes available a complete base of validated data allowing PTO/PTA to improve their work procedure, business or policy.

As already stated CELSO supports the increase of the Bus quality service that is the key tool for reducing the traffic, noise and pollution situations, one of the main problems of our cities.
CELSO improving the regularity and reliability of the Bus service, impacts directly on the major needs of three actors of the urban transport system: users (waiting time at Bus stop and travelling time), PTO (costs in term vehicles in operation, added fuel consumption, vehicles maintenance) and PTA (subsidies and marketability of PT).
Finally, from the community point of view, CELSO improve the overall city accessibility (ease to reach the destinations expressed in travel time, punctuality, integration among modalities, etc.), environment (contribution to the reduction of NOx and CO2 emission, noise and traffic congestion, etc.), safety (contribution to the reduction of fatalities and injuries) and quality (city image, comfort, social cohesion).
CELSO Logical Architecture