Infineon Technologies Supplies Know-how for Tickets of the Future
Association of German Transport Operators (VDV) Investigates Standard Electronic Ticket for Nationwide Use
Munich, April 11, 2002 Every day in Germany around 25 million passengers use public transport, amounting to about nine billion journeys per year. Infineons high-tech specialists and other prominent industrial companies are working with the Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV) the association of German mass transit operators to define a technical standard enabling nationwide rollout of a universal electronic ticket. The cooperation partners intend presenting a standard solution for purchase and use of electronic tickets in public transport by mid-2003. The first large-scale pilot projects to evaluate e-ticket prototypes and the new infrastructure are expected to be launched in the Berlin and Dresden metropolitan areas.
The worlds most ambitious public transit smartcard project
Once passengers have purchased their electronic tickets, they will be able to use them anywhere in Germany. They should also be able to buy and use the e-tickets in the same way on the networks of any of the 530 or so transit operators nationwide no matter whether they are in Munich, Berlin or Dresden. Only a standard for technical implementation of the solution that is accepted by all participants can span the different tariff systems operated by the independent transit operators today.
As the sole representative of the semiconductor industry in this project, Infineon supplies the chip technology know-how for the proposed chip-based solution. To enable contactless data transfer, the chip integrated in the electronic ticket communicates electromagnetically with a reading device as the passenger goes by. The chips ensure that the data is transferred reliably and quickly, even at peak times when many tickets have to be cancelled simultaneously. The decision on what the electronic ticket will finally look like will be left to the individual provider. Thanks to chip technology, the e-ticket can be produced just as easily in the form of a smartcard as, for example, as part of a wristwatch or as a key fob. Basically, such a system can also support automatic fare calculation, so that wherever the passenger uses the electronic ticket, only the distance actually traveled will be charged automatically.
As well as Infineon, VDV is collaborating on the standardization project with the industry partners Card.etc, Cubic, Deutsche Bank, ERG, Guardeonic Solutions, Siemens, T-Systems and the Fraunhofer Gesellschafts Institute for Transport and Infrastructure Systems.
Standard Europe-wide solution possible
The prime objective of the electronic ticket standard is to make the use of public transport easier and more convenient for the customer. The public transport standardization project should opt for proven and reliable technologies is how Ingo Susemihl, Head of Contactless Systems at Infineon Technologies, sums up the core issue of the e-ticket concept. The partners involved in this project have a unique opportunity to create a foundation for similar projects throughout Europe.
Incidentally, the standard nationwide electronic ticket could pass a rigorous test in 2006, for that is when a number of cities in Germany stage the soccer World Cup. And no matter where a game takes place, the fans will be able get to the stadium comfortably and easily using the public transit system, without having to wrestle with different regional tariff systems.
Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for applications in the wired and wireless communications markets, for security systems and smartcards, for the automotive and industrial sectors, as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2001 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 5.67 billion with about 33,800 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at www.infineon.com.