Intelligent Gondola System - Audio information system
The mountain lifts in Zermatt are Europe’s highest cable cars. Anyone who takes a ride listens to a technical innovation by Microtronics. Together with Kapsch, a smart audio information system has been developed.
The IGS Box (Intelligent Gondola System) provides passengers with more comfort. As soon as the mountain lift passes a trigger point, an informational text is played. It contains information about the next stop and additionally enables recordings of advertising messages. Thereby, for example, tourists can be informed about evening events in Zermatt, that they should not miss, or special offers in alpine restaurants.
In the backend, those informational messages can be adjusted with just a few clicks. Due to environmental conditions and the current weather conditions, sometimes summit stations have to be closed in winter. In this case, in the backend of the IGS info texts can be adjusted comfortably with only few clicks.
Always informed in case of breakdown
The gondola has been equipped with an automatic standstill detection. After a defined standstill period, a fully automatic breakdown message is played.
If the standstill lasts for a longer period, the operator chooses a saved, recorded breakdown message in the next escalation phase. These are activated with just one click and can be heard in the gondola.
The third escalation phase in case of a breakdown enables a live connection to the gondola. That way, the operator can communicate all necessary information about an evacuation, for example.
An individualised gondola ride
However, the feature of live communication cannot only be used in case of a breakdown. Using this feature, non-standardised messages which are supposed to be played in the gondola can be transmitted and played live.
It is possible to select whether the text is played on the whole route, just in a section or in a particular cabin. Passengers in special VIP gondolas can be greeted individually and are provided with a customised ride with Zermatt’s mountain lifts.
The technology from Microtronics
The IGS Box makes use of Microtronics’ established core technology. For this purpose, several features like the handling of audio files and the interface to the microphone and audio speakers have been implemented individually for this project.
Using GPS positioning, the location of a single gondola can be determined and an appropriate informational text can be played. The data is transmitted via LTE or Wi-Fi (depending on availability) to the central server platform. Utilising this bidirectional connection, info text is transmitted from the central server (live) to the IGS.
In addition to informational texts, operational parameters are determined. Thus, a more effective and efficient maintenance is possible.
The power supply via a solar panel and an integrated rechargeable battery allow the IGS box to be autarkic and facilitate the installation and operation. The total system is rounded out by management features and permission management on the server.
A separate server surface has been programmed for the IGS Box, which perfectly displays the exact requirements for the system. Using the API, the data is integrated into the surface via a standardised interface.