The 27th Trapeze User Conference in Dresden from 4 to 6 September 2017 was a complete success in two respects. On the one hand, the attendance figures with more than 200 users from about 60 German-speaking transport service providers were way above the long-term average. On the other hand, Trapeze presented new innovations for the European market together with extended solutions for operational control systems, passenger information and ticketing. Furthermore, Trapeze's driverless electric bus called "Trapizio" was an absolute eyecatcher on the premises of Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe.
In the context of the User Conference, the participants spent three days looking at new and extended solutions and technologies for more efficient intermodal passenger transport. In his welcoming speech, CEO Peter Schneck focused on the challenges of the market regarding efficient corporate management for public and private transport companies. He expressed his belief that Trapeze will continue to respond with innovative products to the ever new challenges of public transport. "We will continue to adjust our strategies to the challenges of the market in order to offer fast, adequate solutions even under changing framework conditions. Open interfaces and partnerships in particular are the key to success", says Trapeze CEO Peter Schneck.
New component in the Trapeze portfolio
The Trapeze portfolio currently comprises the three key areas of planning and dispatch, the operations control system LIO with on-board systems and dynamic passenger information, as well as fare management. It is now being supplemented by the pioneering PitStop component. More than 185 key accounts in North America are already using this solution for depot and fleet management today.
PitStop is modular in structure and does not need a Trapeze operations control system. PitStop currently consists of three modules that can be used as a package or individually. Trapeze's Enterprise Asset Management is called SmartTEAM and is a module for managing not just buses, rail vehicles and spare parts but also stops, elevators and other items of infrastructure.
The SmartMonitor module permits intelligent real-time vehicle monitoring. SmartMonitor supplies important vehicle data to the drivers and also to the staff in the control centre or workshop, with information for example about the battery charge status and the fuel tank level. SmartParking is the solution for parking position and depot management and gives users an interactive overview of their vehicles' positions in the depots and parking areas.
As a real PitStop expert, racing driver and DTM winner Ellen Lohr talked about her exciting motorsport life as guest speaker at the Conference. She drew interesting parallels to Trapeze's PitStop products and emphasised how important team work is.
Under the conference motto "Moving Things Together", Siegmar Deuring, Head of the Business Unit Central Europe at Trapeze, spoke about the company's diverse projects. He forged a bridge from the recently contracted large projects in Singapore and Riyadh, the development of which will benefit Trapeze and its customers on a global scale, to projects in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. "At first glance, these projects could scarcely appear more different. But at a closer look they are seen to have many things in common, both in terms of their challenges and also with regard to specific implementation", says Siegmar Deuring.
Where projects are concerned, customers have to have their say. And so Heinz Jürgen Reining, Managing Director at Stadtwerke Bonn Verkehrs-GmbH, gave an enthralling report about his company's experience with electric buses and the corresponding results.
Development in the fare management segment
In terms of fare management, it is Trapeze's aim to offer a complete solution so that here the company works together with various partners on the market. The ComfoAccess solution by Trapeze can be supplemented with a CiCo system using smartcards or with a GPS-based smartphone CiBo system. ComfoAccess can also be integrated in existing background systems.
First driverless bus route: "Trapizio" visits Dresden
The three-day customer event was hosted by Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe (DVB), one of Trapeze's long-standing customers. Lars Seiffert, Operations and Personnel Director at Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe AG, presented DVB in his address as a modern transport service provider with pioneering ideas and concepts. It was his initiative that had brought Trapeze's self-driving "Trapizio" vehicle to Dresden.
The small electric bus gave a practical demonstration on a defined course that had been set up on the premises of the DVB depot. Working together with Verkehrsbetriebe Schaffhausen, Switzerland, Trapeze is the first company to integrate an autonomous bus in an operations control system for fixed-route service. This is a globally unique "first mile/last mile" concept that directly links autonomous mobility with local public transport. "We help transport service providers to find the best possible solutions for dealing with the challenges and chances of mobility today and tomorrow. This also includes consultation on all aspects of autonomous vehicles", says Trapeze CEO Peter Schneck.
Conclusions and outlook
The User Conference has more than achieved the organisers' goals, and even surpassed their expectations. The attendance figures exceeded the long-time average with most positive feedback from participants. The parallel events, the technical and guest lectures and the evening events offered plenty of scope for social contact among the participants. Against this backdrop, Trapeze sees a positive future and is already looking forward to the next User Conference.
Trapeze is a world-leading supplier of public transport solutions. The companies in the Trapeze Group supply state-of-the-art software, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and mobile technologies to passenger transportation companies. Hundreds of public and commercial companies in North America, Europe, South Africa and Asia use Trapeze products to increase their efficiency, improve the quality and scope of their services and transport more people safely at lower costs.
The European headquarters of the Trapeze Group is Trapeze Switzerland GmbH at Neuhausen, Switzerland. The company provides transport authorities with comprehensive operations control and information systems for better punctuality, shorter journey times and more precise connections as well as dynamic passenger information. With a strong international presence, Trapeze works in close cooperation with its customers to provide top quality operations control systems and on-board computers for normally steered and also autonomous vehicles, passenger information signs at the stops and in the vehicles along with a range of other custom services. The Trapeze Group is a member of Constellation Software Inc. (TSX: CSU).