Fog Computing Feature
October 30, 2014

Cisco: Single Applications Can Drive Holistic Strategies in Connected Transportation

The possibilities for improving things via the Internet of Things are endless. However, the agencies doing or considering IoT implementations typically only get funding for a single application. But if these organizations put in place infrastructure that can be justified initially with one or two applications, and can also support additional applications in the future, they will be positioned to make the most of what IoT has to offer.   

That’s the word from Barry Einsig, global transportation executive at Cisco Systems, which is sponsoring the Fog Computing Conference taking place Nov. 19 and 20 in San Jose.

Many of the users of Cisco’s smart transportation solutions, which include end-to-end capabilities spanning from on-board systems to data center infrastructure and software, are taking this approach, Einsig says.

For example, Dallas got started with a video surveillance solution for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, creating a system that rather than pull traffic back to a server head-end to look at things forensically, leverages fog computing at the edge for more real-time capabilities, says Einsig. The same system could be used to support additional applications over time.

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority wanted a converged infrastructure to serve trollies, buses, cable cars, and the rail system. Its first application was to deliver

narrowband voice and data to the vehicles so they could do better asset tracking and utilization. Then the organization moved to broadband, and it’s now looking to connect vehicles to traffic signal controllers so buses have priority as they move through intersections so they can keep on schedule, explained Einsig, who noted that Harris Corp. is the systems integrator in this case.

Cisco in September announced its connected transportation solution. That includes Connected Station, which delivers all converged infrastructure and applications located in a station, which is really like a retail environment; an MPLS solution called Connected Track; all on-board systems, which are delivered under the name Connected Train; and Positive Train Control, an overlay safety system application for train collision avoidance.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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