HAFAS Mobil Professional proves convincing in Poland
Awarded every two years for the most interesting products and technical innovations in the railway industry, the prize in the IT section went to TK Telekom, a subsidiary of the Polish State Railways (PKP), for their Navigator based on HAFAS Mobile Professional. Behind this name lies the Polish version of standard software developed for TK Telekom by HaCon for the crew and staff in trains.
Since 2009, PKP Intercity's on-board service staff have been using the software in high-speed trains to provide passengers with comprehensive timetable information. The implementation of real-time information is currently being tested.
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.
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.
“With HAFAS Mobile Professional, on-board service staff are able to provide customers with timetable information in real time”, says Dr. Malgorzata Engeleit, Project Manager at HaCon. “This award proves to us that we have developed a solution for Polish State Railways that fulfils every requirement in relation to innovation and customer communications.”
Extremely user-friendly operation
The particularly fast operation of HAFAS Mobile Professional is achieved through the specially adapted user interface. Single trains may be queried e.g. by entering the train number. Station names can be entered quickly and easily because of the special HAFAS similarity search. There is no need to type the full name of the station. In addition to entering the station number or vehicle number plate, with a few letters entered, the similarity search shows the desired results. This is similar to the text input on mobile phones. In many places the sophisticated user interface reduces the necessary inputs to a minimum, as existing information is assumed from the context, such as the next stop of the train.
The user interface still allows the integration with other software applications on the mobile device, e.g. with a button or a hardware key it can be quickly changed to a separate ticketing software.
Offline benefits combined with online queries
HAFAS Mobil Professional is an offline version - all timetable information is stored locally on the mobile device and is processed from there, so there is no need to establish a mobile connection to the internet. This is made possible due to the fact that the complete HAFAS algorithm for train and connection searches is available as a stand-alone on the device.
Through integrated online queries of the software the offline results can be verified and supplemented as needed – if access to the Internet is provided. The timetable information as scheduled can easily be expanded to current real time information, such as delays, cancellations, changes of track, information on traffic conditions (HIM), additional trains and alternative connections.
Many user interfaces – identical functionality
The software can be easily used on all standard mobile devices running on Windows CE/Windows Mobile and Android. To enable this HAFAS Mobile Professional is available for various user interface options, which are based respectively on the possibilities of the hardware: for devices with a large touch screen, for Pocket PCs with stylus operation, for Smartphones without touch screen up to Pocket PC-based devices with an additional keyboard. The functionalities of HAFAS Mobile Professional are identical for all variants.