Transportation systems stand to benefit significantly from mobile optimisation and digitalisation, placing them squarely among the frontline use cases for smart cities. Forward-thinking organisations are now applying predictive and prescriptive analytics to video and machine data captured from connected sensors and devices, to support a new wave of intelligent public transportation systems.

Hitachi Data Systems says that its customer, NY Waterway, a privately owned marine transportation company that offers ferry services in the Port of New York and New Jersey, is successfully using Hitachi Visualization to support its intelligent transportation system.

The company uses Hitachi Visualization Suite and the Hitachi Visualization Platform together with third-party technologies to support a unified, digitally optimised solution for monitoring and communicating with its vessels on the dock and as they move across the water. The new system has helped NY Waterway to enhance passenger safety, improve mobile network connectivity and stability, and dramatically increase operational efficiency by providing consistent real-time and remote visibility across its fleet.

“Safe, intelligent public transportation systems are a foundational element of smart cities,” said Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, director of global smart cities research at analyst firm IDC. “Public and private entities looking to benefit from the application of smart technologies ultimately require multifaceted solutions that can address multiple use cases. The Hitachi Visualization solution holistically addresses both public safety and operational efficiency use cases for transportation agencies, as well as law enforcement, governments, municipalities and private companies. This capability uniquely positions it for a broad range of applications in the context of a smart city.”

NY Waterway had an aging video surveillance system onboard its vessels and in its terminals, and an automatic identification system (AIS) that ran on local servers to track each boat’s location, but no practical way to view video feeds in real time. Further, the fleet’s cameras were continually subjected to extreme temperature, water spray, adverse lighting and inclement weather, which would frequently render them unreliable. To help modernise its operations and public safety systems, NY Waterway tapped Hitachi channel partner, A.A.S Technologies, a voice, data and security systems integrator, to manage the selection and integration of complementary technologies from various manufacturers into a single, seamless solution that could be managed via a central and easy-to-use dashboard interface. A.A.S selected Hitachi Visualization to serve as the core management software and hardware platform for its unified solution.

“Hitachi Visualization has dramatically increased the security and efficiency of our fleet operations. HVS has provided a centralized communication system that allows real-time visibility across our fleet and terminals, which means our operations run more smoothly,” said Jonathan Figueroa, Director of Facilities for NY Waterway’s Billybey Ferry Company. “We now have expanded opportunities to enhance passenger safety – both in our terminals and onboard our vessels – and can be more agile in tracking telemetry across our fleet. The possibilities are endless.”

“NY Waterway is a prime example of a forward-thinking transportation company that is putting the “smart” in smart cities. They are advancing the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations while improving public safety and the user experience of their passengers through the implementation of leading edge technologies. We’re pleased that Hitachi Visualization offered the versatility and flexibility to meet their requirements,” said Mark Jules, vice president of public safety and visualization solutions at Hitachi Data Systems. “The knowledge and experience of our partner, A.A.S. Technologies, was invaluable to this project. Their deep domain expertise and understanding of the locale enabled us to develop the best possible solution for NY Waterway and the transportation industry.”