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  • 1 April 2020 16:36

Transit Systems leverages Macquarie cloud and telecoms to build AI capabilities

Transport operator now able to monitor, analyse and take action on live data as nbn migration continues and privatisation drives enhanced technology

Macquarie Telecom, part of Macquarie Telecom Group (ASX: MAQ), today announced it is enabling Transit Systems to build artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities through a telecoms and cloud overhaul. Transit Systems is a leading public transport provider with a global footprint. It is the largest operator of metropolitan public bus services in Australia.

The organisation currently provides innovative transport services in New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia, as well as international urban bus services in London and Singapore.

Transit Systems is using Macquarie’s mobile SIM cards across its entire staff to monitor data including driver performance, acceleration, ticketing information, engine diagnostics and more in real time. This data is fed into Macquarie’s data centres and cloud services, which power AI for deep analysis and insights to improve the transport network.

“Historically, a bus might have used one SIM to provide simple voice communication,” said Warren Read-Zorn, Group CIO, Transit Systems. “The importance of that requirement has not diminished but now we need so much more.

“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.”

This has enabled, for example, Transit Systems to assess breaking, acceleration and corner-taking performance, and identify areas for improvement and increased efficiency. It 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 all 37 of Transit Systems’ depots. 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 to ensure maximum efficiency and zero downtime.

For each site, Macquarie is also managing Transit Systems’ nbn migration, providing faster Wi-Fi speeds as depots’ capacity requirements rise. Transit Systems also aims to work with Macquarie and transport authorities to add public Wi-Fi to each fleet over time. To reduce complexity and cost, 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.

Privatisation a major driver for AI As a number of transport routes across Australia become privatised, the combination of Macquarie, an Australian University and Transit Systems’ own expanding AI team is becoming an important competitive differentiator.

“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.”

Macquarie Telecom’s Group Executive Luke Clifton believes Transit Systems is 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,” said Luke Clifton, Group Executive, Macquarie Telecom. “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.”

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