PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany, 2009/12/04 - Train conductors in Polish intercity trains provide passengers with cutting-edge timetable information. With mobile devices they can communicate timetable information in real time to their passengers – at any time within seconds.
In November, the TK Telekom, a subsidiary of Polish State Railways PKP, completed the installation process of HAFAS Mobile Professional by HaCon on behalf of PKP Intercity. In speed trains a total of 400 mobile train conductor devices "Casio IT-3100" are now in operation.
What is special is that the device can be operated easily via the hardware keyboard as well as via touch screen with stylus. The operation via stylus on a touch screen, which is somewhat more complicated than using the hardware keyboard of the device without a stylus, has a special charm for the Polish train conductors: They can type in Polish characters directly on the soft keyboard implemented by HaCon, instead of being restricted to only Latin characters in conjunction with a fault-tolerant search in order to select Polish station names.
Using a button train conductors can switch from HAFAS Mobile Professional to a point of sale software for the ticketing of PKP Informatics. In this way, employees can directly print train tickets on board – the HAFAS timetable application simply keeps running in the background.
"HAFAS Mobile Professional is the modern, fast and professional response to passenger issues of all kinds," says Peter Talke, managing director at HaCon. HAFAS Mobile Professional is used on mobile devices running Windows CE / Windows Mobile. It is an offline version: All timetable data is stored locally on the mobile device and processed there, so no mobile connection to the Internet is needed. This is made possible by the fact that the full HAFAS algorithm for the train and connections search is directly available on the device.
Optionally, the offline results can be verified by online queries: This way, planned timetable information can be extended with current delay information, cancellations, and changes of track, additional trains and alternative connections. However, this option has not been realised for the PKP solution yet.
HAFAS Mobile Professional offers numerous functions that are optimally tailored to the needs of train crews and employees of transport services. These include departure boards, connection information, searches for individual trains or tips, trip numbers, searches for connecting trains on trip plus print function.
Standard features also include a fault-tolerant search for stations, for alphabetical lists of stations and for connections from A to B taking the entire schedule into account with different search options. Found connections can be displayed in an overview as well as in a detailed view, as a travel companion, with train information and footpaths, including platform information, attribute information or days of operation.
Many user interfaces – identical functions
The version is available in four main user interface options, which are based respectively on the possibilities of the hardware: for devices with large touch screen for Pocket PC with stylus operation, for Smartphones without touch screen and for Pocket PC-based devices with an additional keyboard. The functions of HAFAS Mobile Professional are identical for all variants.
In addition to the Polish railway PKP Intercity, which is currently introducing HAFAS Mobile Professional, the version is currently being used, inter alia, by on-board staff of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). Even the Danish State Railways (DSB) uses the software and has recently opted for an extension to real time information. Other European railway companies – including the Dutch Railways NS – plan to implement HAFAS Mobile Professional soon.