NewsAllgemeinSuccessful cooperation of SIEMENS and INSIDE M2M: STREAM pilot project gets an award at the CeBIT trade fair

SIEMENS Mobility and Logistics and the town of Böblingen, Germany were awarded the Best Practice Prize for telematics applications in local communities with up to 50,000 inhabitants. The competition was run for the first time in 2012 and was initiated by the European telematics group TelematicsPRO e.V.


Many communities want to increase the attractivness of their local public transport systems. Two of the most effective instruments are a reduction of travel times by giving public transport priority at traffic signals and providing dynamic information displays which give passengers reliable real-time information on the arrival time of the next bus or tram. Both of these systems require accurate determination of the position of the vehicles. In small and medium-sized towns, traditionally this would normally involve considerable investment e.g. in infrared receivers or induction loops at the traffic signals, since computer-aided public transport control systems are typically not present in such cases.

STREAM: Innovative and simple -> Tracking via satellite – centralized communication with the traffic control computer via mobile communications

New technical developments in the field of satellite navigation now enable a much more efficient solution. The American Global Positioning System (GPS) has recently started to provide data which is accurate enough to allow both prioritisation of the public transport system and a reliable dynamic passenger information display. Furthermore, the European counterpart GALILEO which is under construction will further increase this positional accuracy in only a few years time. Siemens Mobility and Logistics and INSIDE M2M have now started a joint pilot project with the town of Böblingen: STREAM, which stands for ‘Simple Tracking Realtime Application for Managing traffic lights and passenger information’.

The principle is actually quite simple and uses the already existing infrastructure of the town in the best way possible: An on-board unit with GPS receiver and GPRS terminal determines the position of the vehicle and sends it via a mobile data connection to the already existing traffic computer, which then sends so-called request telegrams to the traffic signals to switch them to green when the bus or tram is arriving. This not only avoids expensive modification of the traffic signals, it also makes it easier to install the satellite receivers in the vehicles. Vehicle position data for the dynamic passenger information system is also sent via a mobile data connection to the computer which is responsible for controlling the electronic display panels.

The new system was tested successfully with two buses during the second half of 2012 both with respect to cost savings and reliability. In addition, the prioritisation of emergency vehicles was tested in Böblingen during the pilot test phase. The same on-board units were installed in a fire engine and a mobile emergency turntable ladder to ensure that the vehicles can drive safely across the town in case of an emergency. The emergency command will be sent electronically from the fire service control centre to the traffic computer.