Real-Time Service connects transit operators with riders.

Press Release Summary:



Used to manage and maximize vehicle fleet utilization, Futurefleet leverages next-generation computing technologies - iPhone, Web 2.0, SMS, RTPI, on-line ticketing systems - to reach commuters and fill empty seats. In-vehicle 7 in. MDTs (mobile data terminals) with GPS and audio announcement abilities are integrated with web-based ticketing and vehicle tracking system. Other features include departure board RTPI, online journey planner, and optional MDT printer and smartcard reader.



Original Press Release:



Avego Breakthrough System Connects Transit Operators with Riders



Futurefleet system provides inexpensive real-time services and ticketing to serve rapidly expanding passenger transport market

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 6 -- APTA -- Mapflow's Avego division today announced Futurefleet, its comprehensive solution for maximizing efficiency for transit operators, including public buses, coaches, shuttles, and vanpools. Avego Futurefleet combines next-generation computing, such as the iPhone, Web 2.0, SMS, RTPI and on-line ticketing systems, into a remarkably low cost end-to-end solution, making it easier for transport operators to reach commuters and fill empty seats.

Launched today at the American Public Transit Association (APTA)'s Annual Meeting & Expo, Avego's newest offering is an extension of the company's consumer iPhone application, launched at DEMO last month, and reflects the company's mission of improving the efficiency of the global transport industry and addressing growing environmental issues. Avego is exhibiting and demonstrating Avego Futurefleet at Booth #7706 at APTA.

"In today's environment, with rising gas prices, every empty seat represents untapped revenue potential for a transport operator," said Sean O'Sullivan, Mapflow Chairman. "Avego recognizes the tremendous cost advantage of bus systems over other forms of transport, and is helping operators tap into burgeoning customer demand by enabling operators to offer these seats in real-time to tech-savvy consumers."

With Avego Futurefleet, transit operators of buses and vanpools can now enter the 21st century with a comprehensive and affordable solution for managing and extracting maximum utilization from their fleets of vehicles. The Avego system combines mainstream consumer technologies such as inexpensive GPS devices, SMS or e-mail messaging, online booking and payment systems along with open transportation protocols to offer operators a real-time passenger information (RTPI) and ticketing system that can be deployed in weeks, at a cost more than 10 times cheaper than previously available.

"As the largest private bus operator in Ireland, JJ Kavanagh & Sons recognizes the need to continue our growth through innovation and automation," said Adam Buckeridge, IT and Business Development manager at JJ Kavanagh & Sons. "In this era of instant information, we want to provide our customers with personalized real-time departure and arrival information, as well as digital ticketing. We've been working with Avego to roll out these capabilities both on-line and throughout our fleet in Ireland."

The Avego Futurefleet system offers features which surpass solutions previously available only in systems costing millions of dollars. They include:

-- In-vehicle 7" MDTs (mobile data terminals) with GPS and audio announcement capabilities, integrated with a web-based ticketing and vehicle tracking system;
-- Optional MDT printer for printing receipts for cash sales, while providing on-line reporting of vehicle-by-vehicle sales;
-- Optional MDT smartcard reader for support of smart card ticketing and payment;
-- iPhone, SMS and e-mail messaging support to provide riders with real-time passenger information on bus locations, schedules, and routing options;
-- A free departure board RTPI capability, available both on-line and as auto-refreshing display monitors for building lobbies and/or transit platforms;
-- A free online journey planner capability, to give instant scheduling and fare information and ticketing options to riders either online or via the iPhone;
-- Fleet management and communication capabilities, enabling dispatchers to dynamically make adjustments for journeys and track vehicle positions;
-- Integration and output of Google's Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), enabling transport operators to quickly and easily import or export their schedules into the Google Maps system.

"A central problem in the transport industry is not a lack of vehicles or infrastructure; it is the inability to easily communicate and connect the huge number of riders with the huge number of empty seats that are wasted every day," said Harvey Applebe, Avego co-founder and CTO of Mapflow. "Our goal is to address this problem one seat and one passenger at a time. Avego Futurefleet is the ideal solution for empowering transport operators to join us in this quest by eliminating wasted capacity while dramatically increasing revenue and profits."

Several of Avego Futurefleet's capabilities are available at absolutely no cost to transit operators, including Futurefleet's journey planner and departure boards. In-vehicle Futurefleet MDTs start as low as $995 per vehicle (versus systems costing $12,000 or more per bus), and ticketing systems are available simply at the cost of the transaction fees. For more information, see www.avego.com/futurefleet.

About Mapflow's Avego

Avego, a division of Mapflow, introduces efficient methods for dynamically matching available transport capacity with transport demand and communicating RTPI (Real-time Passenger Information) to passengers. Avego combines GPS devices, mobile phones and Internet technologies to provide drivers and transport operators with reduced costs and higher efficiencies, while expanding transport options for riders. Led by a team with an extensive history in geographic information systems and GPS technologies, Mapflow has offices in Dublin (Ireland), Kinsale (Ireland), London (UK), the San Francisco Bay Area, and will be opening up an office in Washington, DC later this year. For more information, please visit www.avego.com.

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